Ways To Prevent Headaches In Children
Some ways to help stop headaches and migraines from occurring, or lessen their frequency, severity, or duration, include:
- Learning triggers and avoiding them: Keep track with a journal.
- Lowering stress and anxiety: This may include regular relaxation techniques, seeing a counselor for underlying causes of stress, or addressing anything else that causes your child stress.
- Eating a healthy diet: Provide a variety of healthy foods to help prevent deficiencies, and have your child eat at regular times .
- Getting adequate sleep: Foster healthy sleep habits, and see a healthcare professional if sleep disturbances or disorders are suspected.
- Exercising: Encourage regular activity, when not experiencing a headache.
- Hydrating: Give your child plenty of non-caffeinated, low-sugar drinks throughout the day.
- Following up: If headaches or migraines are common, a healthcare provider may want to look for an underlying cause and suggest ongoing treatment or preventative medications.
If My Headache Isn’t Going Away Should I Get Tested For Coronavirus
Headache is one of the symptoms of COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . A February 2020 report of the WHO-China Joint Mission on COVID-19, from early in the pandemic, found that of 55,924 people confirmed to have the disease, 13.6 percent had a headache.
Theres no treatment for COVID-19, but the same OTC pain relievers that help with other types of headaches may alleviate headaches caused by this disease. does not recommend against the use of ibuprofen for people with COVID-19.)
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and want to get tested, the CDC recommends calling your state or local health department or a medical provider. Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and are able to recover at home, the CDC notes.
Caffeines Influence On Health
Coffee consumption is associated with a number of health benefits in men and women. In an umbrella review, Grosso et al. demonstrated that caffeine was associated with a decreased risk of cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and mortality, and Parkinsons disease but an increased risk of pregnancy loss . On the other hand, coffee was linked with a rise in serum lipids and blood pressure. Overall, they concluded that coffee can be part of a healthful diet . A number of epidemiological studies confirmed a link between higher coffee consumption and better performance on cognitive tests in older adults, and an inverse relationship exists between coffee consumption and the risk of developing Parkinsons or Alzheimers disease and a lower risk of stroke. Interestingly, regular coffee consumption does not affect patients with epilepsy . It is reported that caffeine can enhance awareness, attention, and reaction time by stimulating wakefulness, increasing concentration, and decreasing the sensation of fatigue, but also may disturb sleep quality . Moreover, caffeine in low doses can improve mood states and decreases the risk of depression and suicide .
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Biological Feedback As A Way To Cure Migraine
Biological feedback is a very effective method in the fight against headache. The meaning is that a few electrodes are attached to the body, which record the muscle tension and the temperature of the skin. This information is displayed on the screen before the patient. The patient watches how the temperature of the skin decreases and the muscle tone increases, depending on the stress. Recent studies have shown that with migraine attacks, blood flow changes in arteries that feed the brain.
Applying the method described above, a person learns to control his blood flow and the level of stress that allows you to cope with migraine attacks. Numerous studies have shown that biologic feedback significantly increases the standard of living of people with headaches and can be used as a therapy in the early stages of the disease.
Try A Different Temperature
There are two tried-and-true methods that most of us turn to when facing an injury and its pain: hot or cold therapy. While it might seem odd to consider placing an iced or heated pack on your head, it can make all of the difference in just a few minutes.
As Stress Knots and the Mayo Clinic both recommend, simply choose which works best for your migraines. When you apply heat, your muscles will relax, and pain will lower. If you choose icy cold, you will numb the areas most in pain to all that they are feeling.
Try out one of these headache hat or other ice pack headbands â keep the included ice pack in the freezer so it’s cold when pain strikes. If heat works for you, try this moist heat headache wrap or eye mask.
Image via Shutterstock
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Am I At Risk For Chronic Daily Headache
Anyone who has recurrent acute headaches and who uses short-acting medication or techniques to treat them is at risk of developing chronic daily headache, which is characterized by headache symptoms 15 or more days of the month over three months, notes an article published in February 2020 in Global Advances in Health and Medicine on Integrative EastWest Medicine Intervention for Chronic Daily Headache.
The two most common types of chronic daily headache are chronic migraine and chronic tension-type headache, although the two types often overlap. In other words, people diagnosed with chronic migraine often also have symptoms of chronic tension-type headache, and vice versa.
Individuals with chronic daily headache often also have a diagnosis of medication-overuse headache.
If your head pain or other symptoms cause you to frequently take short-acting medication, talk to your doctor about being referred to a headache specialist, who should be able to identify medical treatments as well as lifestyle or behavioral changes that can help to relieve your symptoms while also reducing your reliance on acute medications.
Breaking Down Three Main Treatment Strategies For Menstrual Migraine And How To Pick The Best Option For You
For nearly two out of three women with migraine, attacks occur around the same time as their period. By definition, if you have migraine attacks that start between the two days before your period and the third day of flow, you likely have menstrual migraine. These attacks are often more severe, longer, and cause greater light sensitivity than attacks occurring other times of the month.
Menstrual migraine is caused by the rapid drop in estrogen levels that occurs just prior to your period. I have patients that tell me, Arent headaches a part of having a menstrual cycle? says Dr. Paru David, an internist who works in the division of womens health internal medicine at Mayo Clinic in Arizona. I educate them that not all women have headaches during their menstrual cycles.
Migraine attacks occurring just before and during a womans period can be the most challenging kind to treat. They do not always respond to the same medicines that work on migraine attacks happening at other times. The reason medications dont work the same is not entirely clear. But its likely related to estrogens effects on other chemicals.
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Q: Are There Different Types Of Tension Headaches
A: We categorize tension headaches as episodic or chronic.Episodic tension headaches are milder, less frequent and relativelyshort-lived.
If someone reaches a threshold of 15 headache days a month, orrealizes their headaches are affecting their life quality, we would label thoseas chronic tension headaches.
Use A Cold Or Hot Compress
For headaches with radiating pain that starts in one area and spreads to another, like migraine headaches, cold compresses can be placed over the spot from which the pain originates, says Michael Devine, MD, internal medicine doctor and geriatrician with Devine Concierge Medicine, a primary care practice in Philadelphia.
Cold temperatures have a numbing effect, which can dull the pain. They can also constrict the blood vessels, which may help relieve migraines. You can make your own cold compress by placing a damp towel in the freezer for about 10 minutes. An ice pack would also work.
Heat is better suited for tension headaches, Devine says, which often manifest as dull, aching head pain and a feeling of tightness across your forehead.
Tensions headaches are typically caused by stress and relaxing stiff neck and shoulder muscles can help relieve this type of headache. For example, heat packs or a hot towel can be draped over the neck and shoulder muscles to help relax the muscles.
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Pay Attention To The Weather
Changes in the weather can impact your migraine patterns. High humidity and hot temperatures can stimulate headaches, as well as rainy days. If the weather becomes uncomfortable for you, you may need to step inside and take a break from the outdoors. Of course, you cant always avoid going outside, but you can minimize your time spent in certain headache-inducing weather.
What Is Severe Migraine
The symptoms of severe or acute migraine include pain, which is usually severe and often disabling, as well as intense throbbing. Some people experience nausea, vomiting, or extreme sensitivity to noise or light during attacks. Episodes of severe migraine may last from 4 hours to 3 days.
Severe migraine may occur with or without aura. Aura refers to a perceptual disturbance. Examples include experiencing nonexistent smells, lights, or sounds. Migraine is often considered severe when pain, nausea, or other associated symptoms force a person to avoid normal daily activities.
Also, migraine is classified as severe if the person affected has a history of two to five similar episodes. Migraine is most common among people ages 25 to 55 , but it may also affect children and teens.
Chronic migraine occurs at least 15 days a month, for more than 3 consecutive months. This type of migraine can cause a substantial
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Q: How Can I Get Relief From Tension Headaches
A: A tried-and-true home remedy for both chronic andepisodic tension headaches is using a hot or cold compress to alleviate thediscomfort. Place it on the forehead or over the neck and shoulders.
People can easily manage episodic headaches with over-the-counter pain relievers like a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug and acetaminophen.We recommend people limit the use of OTC pain relievers to two times per weekat most. Using them too often could result in medication-overuse headaches,plus too much could damage the kidneys or liver.
People with chronic headaches may need daily preventionmedicines. But we have a lot of options to help people avoid tension headachesaltogether.
Keep A Diary To Identify Triggers
Not only can a journal help you track symptoms that signal the onset of a headache or migraine, but it may also reveal the foods and drinks that trigger them. The specific culprits can vary from patient to patient, but aged cheeses, MSG-containing foods, and artificial sweeteners are a few common ones. Dark alcohols like red wine, whiskey, bourbon are also more likely to cause migraines than white wine, gin, or vodka, Dr. Newman says.
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Home Remedies To Ease A Headache Or Migraine Attack
Many headache symptoms can be at least partially alleviated without medication. Here are some tips for homemade headache and migraine relief:
Apply an ice pack to your head and neck. Cold compresses on the head and neck are a common home remedy to ease the pain of a migraine attack. Some people also find it helpful for tension headaches. To avoid skin injury, wrap the ice or cold pack in a cloth and apply it for no more than 15 to 20 minutes at a time.
Apply heat to the head, neck, or hands and feet. Applying heat may help relieve a tension headache or dull the pain of a migraine attack, according to the Mayo Clinic. Use a heating pad set on low, a hot-water bottle, a warm compress, or a hot towel. A hot bath or shower may also be helpful, or simply run warm water over your hands and feet.
Have a big glass of water.Dehydration can trigger a migraine attack or lead to a nonmigraine headache, says the National Headache Foundation. Replacing the liquids your body needs may help to relieve the pain.
Practice a relaxation technique. Meditate, breathe deeply, and try to visualize a peaceful image. “Various relaxation techniques can significantly help patients who suffer from ‘muscle contraction’ headaches,” says Rozental.
Give yourself a massage. Massage eases muscle tension, and sometimes helps to reduce headache pain, according to the Mayo Clinic. Gently massage your temples, scalp, neck, and shoulders with your fingertips, or gently stretch your neck.
Remove Any Pressure On The Head
In some cases, there is a physical reason for a headache. Check for anything that is putting too much pressure on the head. This may be a ponytail or bun that is too tight or a hat or headband that has been on too long.
Some people who get headaches become sensitive to light. Bright office lights or even the bright light from a smartphone may make symptoms worse.
It may help to rest in a dark or dimly lit room while recovering from a headache.
Herbal tea may be a useful way to add water to the diet while also enjoying the benefits of other natural compounds.
For instance, ginger tea may help with a migraine. One found that ginger powder had similar effects to a common medication for reducing migraines. A simple tea of warm water and ginger powder may help with symptoms.
Other potentially calming teas include herbs such as peppermint, chamomile, and lavender.
Exercise may help keep the body healthy and promote better circulation, which might reduce the chances of a headache showing up.
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Retreat To A Dark Quiet Space
Lying down somewhere dark, cool, and quiet is something youre likely to do anyway, mostly because youve got no choice, Cowan notes. Lights hurt your eyes sounds hurt your ears. But controlling your environment in this way may be the single most helpful step you can take, other than taking medication, to reduce the impact of migraine symptoms.
As noted in an article published in April 2017 in the journal Physiological Reviews, migraines have come to be understood as a disorder of the brains sensory processing thats influenced by genetics and the environment. The more researchers have learned about the biological mechanisms involved, the more effective treatment options have become available a process thats likely to continue into the future.
Common Causes Of Headaches
The best way to get rid of a headache quickly may depend on whats causing it and what type of headache it is. A primary headache is caused by overactivity or problems with the pain-sensitive structures in your head, according to the Mayo Clinic. Common types of primary headaches include migraine attacks and tension headaches.
A less common type of primary headache is a cluster headache, which comes on suddenly, almost always affects only one side of the head, and is accompanied by a runny nose and tearing eye on the same side of the head as the headache. The pain of a cluster headache is severe and lasts from 15 minutes to 3 hours, when untreated. For most people, cluster headaches occur in a series, or in clusters, lasting weeks or months, separated by remission periods of months or years.
A secondary headache is a symptom of a disease that can trigger pain-sensitive nerves in the head. There are many conditions that can cause a secondary headache, from a sinus infection to a brain aneurysm to hangovers to COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.
While a hangover or a headache caused by a sinus infection or by COVID-19 may respond to the same pain-relieving treatments as a tension headache, a brain aneurysm, or other severe headaches associated with neurologic changes such as weakness or loss of consciousness, for example, are medical emergencies that you shouldnt attempt to treat on your own.
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Take A Break From Screens
One of the most common symptoms associated with Computer Vision Syndrome or Digital Eye Strain is headaches, the American Optometric Association states. Whether it’s a computer, cell phone, or tablet, just scrolling up and down can trigger headaches in some people, Dr. Newman says. To prevent discomfort, the AOA recommends following whats called the 20-20-20 rule: Take a 20 second break to view something 20 feet away every 20 minutes.
How To Relieve Headaches Without Nsaids
When your head is throbbing, its natural to reach for the bottle of Ibuprofen in search of relief. Tension and even migraine headache sufferers often swear by the benefits of NSAIDs, or Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. These medications are designed to ease inflammation and reduce pain, but they can also bring along unwanted and even potentially serious side effects. Recent research has shown that NSAIDs can lead to a small, but real increase in cardiovascular problems, including heart attack and stroke. In people with certain risk factors, they can also cause bleeding, blood pressure, and kidney problems. NSAIDs can also negatively affect your stomach and digestive system.
If your physician has prescribed you NSAIDs, then its important to continue taking them as directed.Your doctor knows your own personal medical history and risk profile. However, if you arent prescribed NSAIDs, there are some alternatives that can often help manage headaches just as well as anti-inflammatories.
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When To See A Doctor About Your Headaches
If natural remedies and OTC pain relievers arent doing the trick, it may be time to make an appointment, says Dr. Vila.
If youve never gotten headaches before and now theyre frequent, I would get that checked out, she says.
Ditto for changes to your usual headache type. For example, you may have always had those tight, tension headaches that come and go, but now theyre not going away. Or youre having other symptoms, like floaters in your eyes, which is often a sign of a migraine.
If you have a stiff neck or fever as well as a headache, that could be a sign of infection, Dr. Vila notes, including both run-of-the-mill types and something more serious, like meningitis.
Worst case scenario? Your headache may actually be signaling a mini-stroke, if its accompanied by confusion, fuzzy vision, weakness, or a bit of memory loss.
But in general, headaches are very common, and most likely, youre just dealing with something minor like stress, poor sleep, dehydration, or food sensitivities. Whatever youre grappling with, trying to get to the root of the issuethe why of your headachecan help prevent them from creeping back in.