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What is Headache?

A headache is dull or sharp pain or throbbing sensation in any region of the head. It may occur either in one or both sides of the head, be isolated to a specific location or radiate across the head from one point to another. It may happen slowly or suddenly and may last for few minutes, hours to days. 

What are the causes of Headache?

The cause of headache depends on the fact that whether it is caused by an underlying condition or not. Based on this, they are classified as:

Primary headache:

Primary headache usually occurs due to over-activity of, or problems with, structures in the head that are pain sensitive (blood vessels, muscles, and nerves of head & neck). Changes in chemical activity in the brain also cause a headache. The most common primary headaches are:

  • Migraine
  • Cluster headache
  • Tension headache
  • Secondary headache:

    Secondary headache happens when some other medical condition stimulates the pain-sensitive nerves of the head. The most common secondary headaches are:

  • Acute sinusitis
  • Alcohol induces hangover
  • Arterial tears
  • Brain tumors
  • Blood clots
  • Bleeding in or around brain
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Concussions
  • Dehydration
  • Dental problems
  • Ear infection
  • Glaucoma
  • Influenza
  • Pain attacks
  • Stroke 
  • How can Headache be treated?

    Headaches are usually treated by rest or over-the-counter pain relief medicines. One must not overuse pain relief medicines as they can lead to rebound headaches.

    A headache can be a symptom of a very serious medical condition like stroke, meningitis or encephalitis. If you have a severe headache accompanied by certain other symptoms like fainting, confusion, numbness/paralysis of one side of the body, stiff neck, trouble speaking/walking/ seeing, nausea or vomiting, you must immediately visit your doctor without delay.