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HEADACHE

A headache is pain or discomfort in the head, scalp, or neck. Headaches are of various types like tension headaches, migraine, cluster headaches and sinus headaches.

 

CAUSES

Secondary headache is associated with an underlying condition such as cerebrovascular disease, head trauma, infection, tumor, and metabolic disorder (e.g., diabetes, thyroid disease). Head pain also can result from syndromes involving the eyes, ears, neck, teeth, or sinuses. In these cases, the underlying condition must be diagnosed and treated. Also, certain types of medication produce headache as a side effect. Most of headaches are caused by tension in the muscles of the neck and scalp after periods of stress and concentration. Eyestrain rarely produces headache (contrary to popular belief) and if it does it usually arises from astigmatism. Other causes range from sensitivity to certain foods like cheese, wines, changes in weather and altitudes, hormonal fluctuations, emotions, certain medicines (the oral contraceptive pill may also cause headaches, esp. during the pill-free week), smoking, alcoholism, as a forerunner of flu, after head injury, meningitis, etc.

SYMPTOMS

The pain symptoms of a headache are:-

DO'S AND DON'TS

1. Avoid cheese, wine, nuts, chocolate, alcohol, coffee in migraine.
2. A nutritious diet with multivitamins keeps you fit. Avoid self medication. Aspirins and paracetamols are only of limited value on tension headaches.
3. Stay away from noise light, TV, crowd when you get first sign of headache.
4. Lie in a dark room with cold compresses till you feel better.
5. Massage to scalp relieves tension headache. Do not tax your intellectual faculties nor your eyes during headache.
6. You relieve tension in the muscles of the body by progressive muscular relaxation, in which all muscles are tensed first and then consciously relaxed in turn starting from toes upwards.
7. Get your blood pressure checked if dull headaches persist for long.

Consult a doctor if symptoms are severe or if associated symptoms are present.

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