sentinel headache، Anyone can have a headache. About 2 out of 3 children will have had a headache at 15 years old. More than 9 out of 10 adults will have a headache at some point in their life. Headache is the most common form of pain and an important reason cited for days missed from work or school as well as for doctor visits. Without proper treatment, headaches can be intense and interfere with daily activities.
Certain types of headaches appear in families. Episodes of headache can be relieved or even disappear for some time and reappear later in life. It is possible to have more than one type of headache at the same time.
The primary headaches 1 are presented separately and are not caused by another condition. It is uncertain what sets the process of a primary headache in motion. A cascade of events that affect blood vessels and nerves inside and outside the head causes pain signals to be sent to the brain. Brain chemicals called neurotransmitters are involved in creating the headache, as are changes in nerve cell activity (called propagated cortical depression). Migraine, cluster headache and tension headache are the most common types of primary headache.
The secondary headaches are symptoms of other health disorder that causes nerve endings sensitive to pain compress, stretch or pushed out of place. They can be the result of underlying conditions, including fever, infection, use of excess medications, stress or emotional conflict, high blood pressure, psychiatric disorders, cranial injury or trauma, stroke, tumors and nervous disorders (particularly trigeminal neuralgia, a condition with chronic pain that typically affects a major nerve on one side of the jaw or cheek).
Headaches can vary in frequency and intensity of pain. Some individuals may have headaches once or twice a year while others may have them more than 15 days per month. Some headaches may reappear or last for several weeks at a time. The pain can range from mild to disabling and may be accompanied by symptoms such as nausea or increased sensitivity to noise and light, depending on the type of headache.
Why does the head ache?
Information about touch, pain, temperature and vibration in the head and neck is sent to the brain through the trigeminal nerve, one of the 12 pairs of cranial nerves that start at the base of the brain. The nerve has three branches that lead sensations of the scalp, blood vessels inside and outside the skull, the lining around the brain ( the meninges ), and the face, mouth, neck, ears, eyes and throat.
The brain tissue itself lacks nerves sensitive to pain and does not feel pain. Headaches occur when pain-sensitive nerve endings called nociceptors react to the triggers of the headache (such as stress, certain foods or odors or the use of medications) and send messages through the trigeminal nerve to the thalamus. relay station “of the brain for the painful sensation of the whole body. The thalamus controls sensitivity to light and body noise and sends messages to parts of the brain that control pain awareness and emotional response to it. Other parts of the brain can also be part of the process, causing nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty concentrating, and other neurological symptoms.
When to see a doctor?
Not every headache requires the attention of a doctor. However, the headache can signal a more serious disorder that requires immediate medical attention. Immediately call or see a doctor if you or someone you are with has any of these symptoms:
Severe and sudden headache that may be accompanied by stiff neck.
Severe headache accompanied by fever, nausea or vomiting that is not related to another disease.
“First” or “worse” headache, often accompanied by confusion, weakness, double vision, or loss of consciousness.
Headache that gets worse in days or weeks or whose pattern or behavior has changed.
Recurrent headache in children.
Headache after a head injury.
Headache and loss of sensation or weakness in any part of the body, which could be a sign of stroke.
Headache associated with seizures.
Headache associated with difficulty breathing.
Two or more headaches per week.
Persistent headache in someone who has not had headaches before, particularly in someone over 50 years of age.
New headaches in someone with a history of cancer or HIV / AIDS.
Diagnosis of your headache
How and under what circumstances a person suffers from a headache can be the key to diagnose its cause. Keeping a diary of headaches can help the doctor better diagnose your headache type and determine the best treatment. After each headache, write down the time of day it happened; its intensity and duration; any sensitivity to light, smells or sound; activity immediately prior to the headache; the use of prescription or over-the-counter medications; the amount of sleep the night before; any stressful or emotional state; any influence of the climate or daily activity; food and liquids consumed in the last 24 hours; and any disease known at that time. Women should write down the dates of their menstrual cycles. Include notes about other family members who have a history of headache or other disorder. A pattern could emerge that may be useful in reducing or preventing headaches.
Once your doctor has reviewed your medical and headache history and performed a physical and neurological examination, laboratory tests and diagnostic tests may be ordered to rule out or identify diseases that may be causing your headaches. Blood and urine tests can help diagnose brain or spinal cord infections, damage to blood vessels, and toxins that affect the nervous system.
The evaluation of a sample of the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord can detect infections, hemorrhage in the brain (called cerebral hemorrhage), and measure any buildup of pressure inside the skull. Diagnostic imaging, such as computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), can detect irregularities in blood vessels and bones, certain tumors and brain cysts, brain damage due to a head injury, brain hemorrhage, inflammation, infection and other disorders. Neuroimaging also gives doctors a way to see what is happening in the brain during headache attacks. An electroencephalogram (EEG) measures the activity of brain waves and can help diagnose brain tumors, seizures, head injury,
Types of headaches and their treatment
The International Classification of Headache Disorders , published by the International Headache Society, is used to classify more than 150 types of primary and secondary disorders of headaches.
The primary headache disorders are divided into four main groups: migraine, tensional headaches, autonomic cephalic trigeminal (a group of short-lived but intense headaches), and a miscellaneous group.
If you suffer from migraines, you are not alone. About 12 percent of the US population He suffers from migraines, a form of vascular headache . Vascular headaches are characterized by throbbing and throbbing pain caused by the activation of nerve fibers that reside within the walls of the cerebral blood vessels that travel within the meninges. The blood vessels temporarily narrow, which decreases blood flow and oxygen to the brain. This causes other blood vessels to open more to increase blood flow.
Migraines involve recurrent attacks of moderate to severe pain that is throbbing or throbbing and often attacks one side of the head. If left untreated the attacks last from 4 to 72 hours. Other common symptoms are increased sensitivity to light, noise and odors; and nausea and vomiting. Routine physical activity, movement or even coughing or sneezing can make the headache worse.
Migraines appear more frequently in the morning, especially on waking. Some people have migraines at predictable times, such as before menstruation or on weekends after a stressful work week. Many people feel exhausted or weak after a migraine but usually have no symptoms between attacks.
A number of different factors can increase your risk of suffering from a migraine. These factors, which trigger the headache process, vary among people and include sudden changes in climate or environment, too much or too little sleep, strong odors or vapors, emotion, stress, overexertion, loud or sudden noises, dizziness of movement, low blood glucose, sautéed foods, tobacco, depression, anxiety, head trauma, hangover, some medications, hormonal changes, and strong or intermittent lights. The use of medications in excess or missed doses can also cause headaches. In about 50 percent of those who suffer from migraine, food or ingredients can trigger headaches. These include aspartame, caffeine (or abstinence from caffeine), wine and other types of alcohol, chocolate, aged cheeses, monosodium glutamate, some fruits and dried fruits, fermented or pickled products, yeast, and cured and processed meats. Maintaining a food diary will help identify the food triggers.
Who suffers from migraines? Migraines occur in both children and adults, but affect adult women three times more than men. There is evidence that migraines are genetic, since most migraine sufferers have a family history of the disorder. They also occur frequently in people who have other diseases. Depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, sleep disorders and epilepsy are more common in people with migraine than in the general population. People with migraine – particularly those who have pre-migraine symptoms called aura – have a slightly higher risk of having a stroke.
Migraine in women is often associated with hormonal changes. Headaches may begin at the beginning of the first menstrual cycle or during pregnancy. Most women see improvement after menopause, although surgical removal of the ovaries usually worsens migraines. Women with migraine who take oral contraceptives may have changes in the frequency and intensity of attacks, while women who do not suffer from headaches may develop migraines as a side effect of oral contraceptives.