Headaches are one of the most common ailments that afflict mankind regardless of age and gender. Headaches are pains and can occur in any region of the head, they can occur on both sides or on one side. The main aspects that are experienced are throbbing, nausea in the head which can occur gradually or suddenly. Headaches may last for days, hours or even less than an hour. It is important that we understand the symptoms and consult specialists if the symptoms persist.
The WHO reports that around 47% of the world’s adult population will have experienced a headache within the last year. The global burden of headache is high as the same leads to disability and loss of working hours. Headache disorders are rated among the world top 10 causes of disability worldwide.
Half to three-fourth of the adults between 18 to 65 years of age in the world have had headaches in the last one year and among those more than 10 % have reported migraine. In the global burden of diseases study, migraine alone accounted for 1.3% of years lost due to disability.
The headaches are categorized into primary and secondary headaches.
- Primary headaches are illnesses caused directly by over activity or problems with pain sensitive structures in the head. This includes muscle nerves and blood vessels in the head and neck. They also include the chemical activity inside the brain.
The common primary headaches are migraine, TTH and cluster headaches.
- Secondary headaches are because of some other condition affecting the pain sensitivity structures ranging from brain tumor or any other complication.
The causes of Headache:
Headaches can be caused because of various simple reasons that are mostly undetected and undiagnosed. Headaches are mainly caused by
- Hormonal changes
- Too much or too little sleep
- Exercising rigorously
- Straining eyes
- Excess of caffeine intake
- Not eating on time
The causes of headaches may be due to sinusitis, glaucoma, overuse of medication , ice cream headaches etc.
Headaches are not perceived by the public as serious since they are mostly episodic and do not cause death. Majority take over the counted medications to relieve this headache. Repeated headache and the constant fear of the next one damages family life, social life and can cause unemployment.
There are more than 200 types of headaches, out of which majority of them are harmless and few are life threatening. It is important that you understand the symptoms and consult specialists if they persist.