Ow, my aching head!

14 01 2009

If you’re like me, you experience headaches from time to time, some weeks, more times than others. Below is some info about the most common types of headaches and how to treat them.


Tension headaches: you’ll usually feel a dull pressure or tightness on both sides of your head and your neck at times. Some other symptoms are fatigue, the feeling of a stiff band circling and pressing on your head.

These can last from 30 minutes to a whole week and can be every once in a while to everyday.

About 90 percent of women have tension headaches from time to time. Most are easily treated with medicines such as asprin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, etc.) and acetaminophen (Tylenol, etc.).



Migraine headaches: you’ll feel moderate to severe throbbing, 60% on one side, 40% on both. You might also experience nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, sound and/or smell and increasing pain with normal physical activities.

These last four to 72 hours and are regular with widely inconsistent occurrence.

These headaches are more common in women, and prescription medications are frequently needed to treat them. When you have a migraine, rest in a quiet, dark room if you can. Other things that may help include a hot or cold compress on your head or neck, massages and small amounts of caffeine.



Cluster headaches: you’ll feel sharp, dull and severe pain that develops quickly over minutes. It’s usually on one side, generally around or behind your eye. You might also experience nasal congestion, runny nostril, eye tearing on one side or redness and a feeling of agitation.

These usually last 45-90 minutes and people have one or more daily during “clusters.”

These headaches are rare; they affect less than one percent of adults. Since the pain of these headaches happen all of a sudden and may go away quickly, over-the-counter medicines aren’t helpful. Usually, preventive medications are prescribed; injecting medication or inhaling 100 percent oxygen through a mask can help.


For more information about headaches, visit my source: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/headaches/HE00001




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