Headaches – When Should You Seek Treatment

Not all headaches one gets require seeking medical intervention. Most headaches that occur without symptoms will respond well to self care (resting in a quiet place or using non-prescription pain relievers such as aspirin or ibuprofen). Certain types of headaches however, require stronger prescription medications or may be warning signs to seek immediate medical care.

Seek medical care if:
– headaches cannot be relieved with home treatment;
– unexplained headaches continue to occur more than three times per week;
– headaches become more frequent or severe;
– headaches occur during or after physical exertion, coughing or sneezing;
– headaches waken you out of a sound sleep or are worse first thing in the morning;
– you need help discovering or eliminating the source of your headache.

 

Tension Headaches

Tension headaches account for 90% of all headaches and are directly related to stress and muscle contractions. Symptoms are:-
– tightness or pain in the muscles of the neck, shoulders, upper back, jaw or face;
– steady, dull pain;
– feeling of having a tight band or vise around the head;
– dull, pressing, burning sensation above the eyes

Treatment
– You can attempt to relieve the tension through heat, a hot shower or massage and relaxation techniques;
– make a conscious effort to relax jaw, neck, shoulders and upper back muscles;
– limit caffeine intake (chocolate, soda and coffee);
– take an over the counter pain relieving medication.

 

Sinus Headaches

Sinus headaches are caused by swelling of the sinus membrane. Symptoms include dull pain that shifts when the head is re-positioned; pain usually toward the front of the head; pain and/or pressure that increases when the head is dropped forward. Sinus headaches can be treated by taking an analgesic or decongestant or by use of humidifier or vaporiser.

 

Migraine Headaches

Migraines are more common in females and may begin in early childhood, but usually begin in the teens or early twenties. Symptoms may vary from person to person and can last several days. Some of these include nausea/vomiting/diarrhea; chills and/or dizziness; sensitivity to light and sound; distorted vision; feelings of intense anxiety. Warning of impending migraine – visual aura that may include flashing lights, distortion in size or shape of objects, blind/dark spots in field of vision; strange smells; weakness on one side of the body; numbness or tingling in the face or arms. Treatment could be from non prescription analgesics or prescribed medications.

 

Cluster Headaches

Cluster headaches are a variant of migraines most often experienced by men. This type of headache often begins at night and may last for 30 minutes to a few weeks. They may recur several times daily for up to 4-12 weeks and then disappear for months or years. Symptoms:- sharp, sudden stabbing, head pain; pain on one side of the head or behind the eye; the eye and nostril on the affected side may be red and/or runny. Treatment:- same drugs used to treat migraines; sometimes injections or suppositories for rapid absorption.

We at Premier Service Medical Aid value your health.  Please stay healthy!