Headaches are one of the most commonly reported medical conditions. Each one of us experiences headaches at some point in our life. Occasional headaches are not harmful as they can easily be treated. However, if the intensity and frequency of the headaches increase and starts to affect your daily life you should consult a doctor.
How are headaches classified?
In 2007, the International Headache Society updated its classification system for the headaches. The classification is based on the cause of the headache and how sufferers can be treated in various ways. The 3 major categories of headaches are:
Primary headaches - This is the major category of headache that includes migraine, tension and cluster headaches. Out of these, tension headaches are said to account for a majority of headaches in adults.
Secondary headaches - The secondary headaches are caused due to an underlying structural problem in the head or neck. Commonly reported causes of secondary headache include bleeding in the brain, tumour, meningitis and encephalitis.
Cranial neuralgias, facial pain and other headaches - Such type of headaches typically occur because of an inflammation of nerves in the head and upper neck. Facial pain and a variety of other causes for headache are included here.
Headache in children
Headaches do not affect just adults; the problem is frequently reported in children as well. It is estimated that 90% of children are suffer from headaches at least once a year. The frequency may increase as the child becomes older. Commonly reported causes of headaches in children include viral or upper respiratory infections such as ear infections, the common cold, allergies and sinus infections, stress related to family or school, tension and minor head injury. Children may also suffer from migraine or cluster headaches.
It is tough to perceive the symptoms of headache in children because they often cannot articulate their condition. In most cases, headaches in children are relieved by taking rest, by massage therapy and by leading a healthy lifestyle. However, you should report to the doctor if the child experiences headaches more than once in a month of suffer from associated symptoms such as vomiting, changes in vision or double vision, neck pain or stiffness, confusion, loss of balance or unsteadiness, and/or fever.
What happens when you have a tension headache?
Tension headaches are one of most common types of headaches. People suffering from tension headache may report a constant and not throbbing pain or pressure on both sides of their head. Some sufferers also experience aching pain at temples or at the back of their head and neck. Tension headaches are usually triggered by stress, anxiety, depression, hunger, anger, fatigue, overexertion, poor posture and muscle strain. Usually, pain from a tension headache is not severe and will allow you to carry on with your school or office work. However, people who experience chronic tension headaches may suffer from a severe pain or a headache that lasts for a long time.
In most cases, headaches are easily treated through rest or by massage therapy. If this does not work, over the counter pain relieving medications can be taken. However, sufferers of frequent and chronic headaches may need to take proper treatment to avoid the severity of symptoms. These days, many headache patients are making use of alternative treatment methods such as Cefaly electrotherapy device to get relief from headache. The advanced electronic device emits gentle electric impulses that offer a feeling of relaxation.