Headache in man: What's it, causes, symptoms, diagnostics, treatment, prevention
Headache; Pain – head; Rebound headaches; Medication overuse headaches; Medicine overuse headaches
What is a headache?
Headache is a common symptom, faced by many people. It is characterized by pain or discomfort in the head or neck. Headaches can range in severity from mild to severe and may be intermittent or constant.
There are several different types of headaches., including tension headache, migraine, cluster headache and sinus headache. Each type of headache can have different causes and symptoms..
Causes of a headache
Causes of headaches can vary depending on the type of headache..
The most common type of headache is tension headache. Probably, it will be caused by tense shoulder muscles, Neck, scalp and jaw. Tension headache:
- May be related to stress, depression, anxiously, head injury or head and neck misalignment.
- Tends to be felt on both sides of the head. Often begins at the back of the head and spreads forward. The pain may feel dull or tight, like a tight bandage or vise. Shoulders, the neck or jaw may feel tight or painful.
Headache with migraine includes throbbing pain on one side of the head. It is usually accompanied by other symptoms., such as vision changes, sensitivity to sound or light or nausea. When migraine:
- Headache may be related to the aura. This is a group of warning signs., that start before the headache.
- Pain usually gets worse, when you try to move.
- Migraines can be triggered by these foods, like chocolate, some cheeses or monosodium glutamate. Give up caffeine, lack of sleep and alcohol can also be triggers.
rebound headaches are headaches, who periodically return. They often occur due to the overuse of pain medications to treat other headaches., such as migraine or tension headache. For this reason, these headaches are also called drug overuse headaches.. This type of headache can develop in people, taking painkillers regularly 3 days a week.
Other types of headache:
- Cluster headache - acute, very painful headache, occurring daily, sometimes up to several times a day for months. Then it goes on for weeks or months. For some people, headaches never come back.. Headache usually lasts less than an hour. It usually happens at the same time every day.
- Sinus headache causes pain in the front of the head and face. This is due to swelling of the sinus passages behind the cheeks., nose and eyes. Pain worsens when bending forward and when first waking up in the morning.
- Headaches can occur with a cold, Flu, fever or premenstrual syndrome.
- Headache due to disease, called temporal arteritis . It's swollen, inflamed artery, which supplies blood to part of the head, temple and neck area.
In rare cases, a headache may indicate a more serious medical condition., eg:
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Bleeding in the area between the brain and thin tissue, covering the brain (subarachnoid hemorrhage)
- Very high blood pressure
- Brain infection, such as meningitis, encephalitis or abscess
- Accumulation of fluid inside the skull, which leads to cerebral edema (gidrocefalii)
- Buildup of pressure inside the skull, that looks like a tumor, but not a tumor (pseudotumor of the brain)
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Lack of oxygen during sleep (sleep apnea)
- Blood vessel problems and bleeding in the brain, such as arteriovenous malformation (AVM), brain aneurysm or stroke
Headache symptoms can vary depending on the type and severity of the headache.. Common headache symptoms include:
- Pain or pressure in the head or neck.
- Sensitivity to light or sound
- Nausea or vomiting
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Changes in vision or hearing.
- Fatigue or weakness
When to see a doctor
In some cases, headaches may be a symptom of a more serious underlying condition.. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you should contact a healthcare professional:
- Severe or sudden headache
- Headache, accompanied by stiff neck, fever or confusion.
- Headache, increasing over time
- Headache, occurring after a head injury.
- Headache, accompanied by convulsions or loss of consciousness
Questions, that your doctor may ask
When you see a doctor with a headache, he can ask you a lot of questions, to help diagnose the cause of your headache. Some questions, that your doctor may ask:
- When did the headache start??
- How long have you had a headache?
- Where the pain is felt?
- What does pain look like?
- Have you experienced similar headaches before??
- Do you have other symptoms?
- What medications are you currently taking?
- Do you have any medical conditions?
To diagnose the cause of a headache, your doctor may perform a physical examination and ask you questions about your symptoms and medical history. The doctor will take a medical history and examine your head, eyes, ears, nose, throat, neck and assess the nervous system.
Tests may include:
- Blood tests or lumbar puncture, if you may have an infection
- Head CT or MRI, if you have any danger signs or have had headaches for a while
- X-ray chest
- CT or MR angiography
Headache treatment depends on the underlying cause. In some cases, over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, may be effective in relieving mild to moderate headaches. If you have severe or frequent headaches, your doctor may prescribe stronger medications or refer you to a specialist for further evaluation and treatment.
Your doctor may prescribe medication for migraine, specially designed for the treatment of migraine, such as triptans or beta blockers. Botox injections can also be used to prevent migraines in some cases..
In addition to medication, lifestyle changes can also be effective in preventing or reducing the frequency and severity of headaches.. These changes may include:
- Stress Reduction Techniques, such as meditation or yoga.
- Regular exercise
- Trigger Avoidance, such as certain foods or environmental factors.
- Adequate sleep
- Smoking cessation
- Reducing caffeine intake.
Headache home treatment
In addition to medications and lifestyle changes, there are several home remedies., which can help relieve headaches. Some effective home remedies include:
- Applying a cold or warm compress to the affected area.
- Taking a warm bath or shower.
- Meditation or deep breathing exercises.
- Neck massage, scalp or temples.
- Drinking enough water
- Avoidance of bright lights and loud sounds.
- Complete rest
Headache prevention involves identifying and avoiding triggers, which can cause headaches. Some common triggers include:
- Stress and anxiety
- Poor posture or neck strain.
- Skipping meals or eating certain foods
- Sleep changes.
- Overuse of medications or drugs
- External factors, such as bright lights or loud noises.
To prevent headaches, it is important to lead a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise, a balanced diet, adequate rest and stress management. It's also important to avoid triggers and seek medical attention., if headaches persist or get worse.
Headache is a common symptom, which can be caused by various factors. While most headaches are mild and can be treated with over-the-counter medications and home remedies, some headaches may be a symptom of a more serious underlying condition. If you are experiencing severe or persistent headaches, it is important to seek medical attention, to determine the underlying cause and develop an appropriate treatment plan. With proper diagnosis and treatment, most headaches can be effectively controlled., enabling people to lead healthy and productive lives.
Used sources and literature
Degree KB. Headaches and other head pain. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 370.
Garza I, Robertson CE, Smith JH, Whealy MA. Headache and other craniofacial pain. In: Jankovic J, Mazziotta JC, Pomeroy SL, Newman NJ, eds. Bradley and Daroff’s Neurology in Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 102.
Hoffman J, May A. Diagnosis, pathophysiology, and management of cluster headache. Lancet Neurol. 2018;17(1):75-83. PMID: 29174963 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29174963.
Jensen RH. Tension-type headache – the normal and most prevalent headache. Headache. 2018;58(2):339-345. PMID: 28295304 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28295304.
Rozental JM. Tension-type headache, chronic tension-type headache, and other chronic headache types. In: Benzon HT, King SN, Liu SS, Fishman SM, Cohen SP, eds. Essentials of Pain Medicine. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 20.