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When Should I Worry About Migraines

Tension Headache Vs Migraines

Ocular migraines with vision disturbance: Should I Worry?

Migraines and tension headaches are considered the main form of headaches. These headaches are the primary problem and arent caused by other problems such as dehydration.

Migraines normally stay on one side of the head, usually near the temple or in the front. They can, unfortunately, last for days. The pain;is caused by brain blood vessels, so migraines can cause a pounding feeling.

Sensitivity to light is common with migraines, along with certain triggers from smells and food.

Tension headaches can feel like a tightness or pressure. You dont have to worry about a smell intolerance with tension headaches. The feeling is often found on both sides of the head.

They can be caused by musculoskeletal pain spreading into the head from the jaw and neck.

What Triggers Kaleidoscope Vision

Kaleidoscopic vision is most often caused by a type of migraine headache known as a visual or ocular migraine. A visual migraine occurs when nerve cells in the part of your brain responsible for vision begin firing erratically. A retinal migraine is a more serious condition caused by a lack of blood flow to the eye.

What Can I Do About Headaches

Steps to manage headaches include the following:

  • Avoid any known headache triggers, including allergens and certain foods, like monosodium glutamate, cured meats, and strong cheeses.

  • Smoking is never a good idea in pregnancy. You should also avoid secondhand smoke.

  • Try to eat well and drink plenty of fluids, especially if you are prone to morning sickness.

  • Reduce your stress level. Try a massage or cold pack to help with tension headaches.;

  • If your headache is a migraine, rest in a cool, dark room with no noise, and try using warm or cold compresses or an ice pack.

There is good news, however. Most women have fewer headaches during pregnancy, especially after the first trimester. And those with a history of migraines often find there is improvement during pregnancy.

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There Are No Tests For Diagnosis

Q: Are there any tests to diagnose headaches?

A: These are clinical diagnoses, meaning the diagnosis is being made largely based on history. There’s no test for these. The test would be simply to exclude other causes for headaches. Usually not required, but in some cases when there’s uncertainty, there are other tests such as imaging, but the imaging would be normal in these three diagnoses. Its really up to the clinicians ability to take a careful history to tease out the different causes of headache. Often times it’s when we take a history it’s evident within the first couple of sentences. We start talking to a patient within a minute or two, we have a pretty good idea of what the diagnosis is. The other features I mentioned are to be nothing else which we would be entertaining.

Cluster Headache Pain Can Be Unbearable

When should I worry about a headache?

While technically not life-threatening, cluster headaches cause such severe pain that some people contemplate suicide.

Cluster headaches occur suddenly, sometimes waking people from sleep, and generally last between 15 minutes and 3 hours. The pain of a cluster headache occurs on one side of the head, according to the American Migraine Foundation, and commonly includes a runny nose and a red or tearing eye on the side with the pain.

And unlike migraine, which often makes a person want to avoid physical activity, bright lights, and loud sounds and to take refuge in a dark room, cluster headaches instead make a person feel restless and agitated from the severe pain.

Cluster headaches are so named because they come in clusters daily for a month or more, for example, and then none for a year. Treatment can be high-flow oxygen through a mask or medication to prevent the headaches in the first place.

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What Types Of Headache Are Associated With Serious Illness

The child may have varying degrees of symptoms associated with the severity of the headache depending on the type of headache. Some headaches may be more serious. Symptoms that may suggest a more serious underlying cause of the headache may include the following:

  • A very young child with a headache

  • A child that is awakened by the pain of a headache

  • Headaches that start very early in the morning

  • Pain that is worsened by strain, such as a cough or a sneeze

  • Recurrent episodes of vomiting without nausea or other signs of a stomach virus

  • Sudden onset of pain and the “worst headache” ever

  • Headache that is becoming more severe or continuous

  • Personality changes that have occurred as the headache syndrome evolved

  • Changes in vision

The symptoms of a headache may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your child’s doctor for a diagnosis.

What Symptoms Must You Have To Be Diagnosed With A Migraine

Migraine with aura . This is a headache, plus:

  • Visual symptoms or vision loss.
  • Sensory symptoms .

Migraine without aura . A common migraine is a headache and:

  • The attacks included pain on one side of your head.
  • Youve had at least five attacks, each lasting between four and 72 hours.

Plus, youve experienced at least one of the following:

  • Nausea and/or vomiting.
  • Lights bother you and/or you avoid light.
  • Sounds bother you and/or you avoid sounds.

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If Your Pain Is Unbearable Relief Is Available

Stabbing headaches typically disappear spontaneously in a few weeks to a couple months, Dr. Estemalik says. But, in the meantime, your pain may be over the top. And it may cause you extra anxiety or stress as you anticipate the next jab.

A nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory drug known as indomethacin can ease the pain. But, like many drugs, it comes with side effects, including nausea and other stomach discomforts.

Dr Estemalik says he typically prescribes the drug for a short term. By then, the stabbing headaches usually have run their course.

He sees many patients who are dealing with stabbing headaches, so dont think you are alone.;And, while most are harmless, you shouldnt just assume that yours is.

With any new onset of stabbing headaches, you need to see your doctor, he says.

Causes Of Shorter Headaches Include:

When should I worry about a headache ?

Chronic cluster headache Primary stabbing headache

Sometimes headaches are caused by a certain activity, such as coughing, exercise or sex.According to the Mayo clinic there are two types of sex headaches- and no, it does not include the type of headache you get if you do not want to have sex but:

1. A dull ache in the head and neck that intensifies as sexual excitement increases2. A sudden, severe, throbbing headache that occurs just before or at the moment of orgasm.

It seems sex headaches can vary from a couple of minutes up to three days! Some people may have it only once, but for about half of the people with sex headaches it comes and goes over the course of six months. Sex headaches are not dangerous, but I assume that this can cause some big frustrations for those suffering from it.

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If The Headache Is Always On One Side

Q: What are the causes and symptoms of throbbing headaches?

A: We typically think of throbbing headaches as migraine and most of them will be due to migraine. Sometimes it could be from Arteriovenous malformation , a condition where the veins are abnormally connected to the brain. What would be different for AVM is that it could occur for the first time at an older age.

Migraines usually start in adolescence or the early 20s. Headaches from AVM could start for the first time in the 30s or 40s. It is what’s called commonly side locked, meaning that headache is always on the same side. Patients with migraine have headaches on one side, or unilateral. Over their lifetimes, it would typically alternate- it could be on the right side or the left. If someone says everyone of my headaches is always on the right, or side locked, that increases the possibility that it could be something more concerning, particularly AVM.

When Should I Be Concerned

When a headache is severe, or just doesnt go away, or when you have dizziness, blurred vision, or changes in your field of vision, you should contact your healthcare provider.;Headaches can sometimes be related to blood pressure problems in pregnancy.;If they are persistent or severe and happen after 20 weeks of pregnancy, let your healthcare provider know. Although strokes during pregnancy are rare, migraines can increase a pregnant womans risk for them. If you have migraines, report them to your healthcare provider.

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Tuesday 12 September 2017

Headaches are really common. In fact, Headache Australia says theyre one of the most common symptoms experienced by humans, with more than 5 million Australians affected by headaches and migraines.

Even though its so common, if youve got a headache thats sudden, severe or lasting, you might be worried that theres a serious problem. So how do you know when a headache is something you can treat at home, or when you should see your doctor?

Lets explore what a headache is, how you might treat it at home and when you should get medical advice.

Headaches Due To Referred Pain

Common Types of Headaches: Where You Feel Them & What to ...

Some headaches can be caused by pain in some other part of the head, such as tooth or ear pain, pain in the jaw joint and pains in the neck.

Sinusitis is a common cause. The sinuses are ‘holes’ in the skull which are there to stop it from being too heavy for the neck to carry around. They are lined with mucous membranes, like the lining of your nose, and this produces mucus in response to colds or allergy. The lining membranes also swell up and may block the drainage of the mucus from the space. It then becomes thickened and infected, leading to headache. The headache of sinusitis is often felt at the front of the head and also in the face or teeth. Often the face feels tender to pressure, particularly just below the eyes and beside the nose. You may have a stuffy nose and the pain is often worse when you bend forwards. Acute sinusitis is the type that comes on quickly in association with a cold or sudden allergy. You may have a temperature and be producing a lot of mucus. Chronic sinusitis can be caused by allergy, by overusing decongestants or by an acute sinusitis that doesn’t settle. The sinuses become chronically infected and the sinus linings chronically swollen. The contents of the sinuses may be thick but often not infected.

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How Is A Migraine Treated During Pregnancy

The first trimester generally provides a good idea about whether a woman experiences migraines, as well as the best way to treat them. If a pregnant woman experiences a migraine attack, she should see her physician. Then, this woman and her physician can determine how to address migraine pain.

Preventative migraine medications are typically not recommended for use during pregnancy. These medications sometimes cause nausea and vomiting to worsen during pregnancy. They can also increase a pregnant womans risk of experiencing dehydration.

In one study, researchers indicated pregnant women should first use nondrug therapies to help treat migraine pain. These therapies may include relaxation, sleep and massage, along with the use of ice packs and biofeedback therapy. Following the use of nondrug therapies, pregnant women may consider paracetamol as the initial drug treatment for migraine pain. The risks of using aspirin and ibuprofen to treat migraine pain are usually lower than those associated with other types of migraine medications; thus, pregnant women may sometimes use aspirin and ibuprofen to address a migraine attack.

Furthermore, pregnant women may use the antipsychotic medication prochlorperazine to treat nausea associated with a migraine. Research shows that prochlorperazine is unlikely to put a woman in danger during pregnancy and helps alleviate nausea.

When Should I Be Worried About A Headache

Most headaches don’t have a serious underlying cause. However, healthcare professionals are trained to ask you about the signs and symptoms that might suggest your headache needs further investigation, just to make sure it’s nothing serious.

The things which would suggest to your doctor and nurse that your headache might need further investigation include the following. They do not mean that your headache is serious or sinister, but they mean that the doctor or nurse might wish to do some further checks to be sure:

  • You have had a significant head injury in the previous three months.
  • Your headaches are worsening and accompanied by high temperature .
  • Your headaches start extremely suddenly.
  • You have developed problems with speech and balance as well as headache.
  • You have developed problems with your memory or changes in your behaviour or personality as well as headache.
  • You are confused or muddled with your headache.
  • Your headache started when you coughed, sneezed or strained.
  • Your headache is worse when you sit or stand.
  • Your headache is associated with red or painful eyes.
  • Your headaches are not like anything you have ever experienced before.
  • You have unexplained vomiting with the headache.
  • You have low immunity – for example, if you have HIV, or are on oral steroid medication or immune suppressing drugs.
  • You have or have had a type of cancer that can spread through the body.

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Headache As Preeclampsia Symptom

When a headache during pregnancy is accompanied by dizziness, blurred vision, or blind spots, it’s time to call your obstetrician or healthcare provider.

These could be symptoms of serious complications, such as preeclampsia, a kind of high blood pressure that can occur after the 20th week of pregnancy. The condition can damage other organs like the liver or kidneys and lead to a low number of platelets, cells in the blood that are important in the clotting process.

One study found that pregnant women with high blood pressure and a headache were 17 times more likely to suffer severe complications, like preeclampsia.

Besides high blood pressure , other signs and symptoms of preeclampsia include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Swelling, usually in the feet, legs, face, and hands
  • Sudden weight gain
  • Nausea and vomiting

Pregnant people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes have a two- to four-fold risk of preeclampsia.

Some people with preeclampsia develop a headache that resembles a migrainea throbbing headache with nausea and/or a sensitivity to light or sound. This is another cue to contact your doctor right away, especially if you don’t normally get migraines or the pain is different, more intense, or longer lasting than the headaches you usually get.

Headaches Doctor Discussion Guide

  • A high fever
  • High blood pressure

Taking Too Much Pain Medication Can Cause Headaches

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Frequent use of medication for chronic headaches can actually lead to more headaches. Medication-overuse headache is a chronic daily headache that happens when acute medications for headache or migraine are used more than two or three days per week, according to the American Migraine Foundation.

These headaches have been linked with over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen , and combination pain relievers that contain aspirin and caffeine.

Prescription drugs are also associated with MOH, including triptans, ergotamines, and opioids, according to the American Migraine Foundation.

The best treatment for this type of headache is to stop taking the frequently used medication. People who develop MOH should work with their doctor to identify bridge therapy and lifestyle modifications to help with pain relief while stopping the medication and moving forward afterward.

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Can Migraines Be Prevented

You can’t prevent every migraine. But learning your triggers and trying to avoid them can help. Take a break from activities that might start a migraine, such as using the computer for a long time. If you know that some foods are triggers, skip them. Some people find that cutting back on caffeine or drinking a lot of water can help prevent migraines.

Make a plan for all the things you have to do especially during stressful times like exams so you don’t feel overwhelmed when things pile up. Regular exercise also can reduce stress and make you feel better.

The more you understand about your headaches, the better prepared you can be to fight them.

Are Migraines Hereditary

Migraines tend to run in families. As many as four out of five people with migraines have a family history. If one parent has a history of migraines, their child has a 50% chance of having them. If both parents have a history of migraines, the risk jumps to 75%. Again, up to 80% of people with migraines have a first-degree relative with the disease.

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Why Does My Brain Hurt

Tension headaches occur when the muscles in your head and neck tighten, often because of stress or anxiety. Intense work, missed meals, jaw clenching, or too little sleep can bring on tension headaches. Over-the-counter medicines such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen can help reduce the pain.

Migraine Pain: When Should You Worry

Help for Chronic Headaches

If youve ever had a migraine you know how debilitating it can be. Throbbing, pulsing pain; nausea and vomiting; sensitivity to light

The good news: migraines are rarely dangerous or a symptom of another underlying illness. The not-so-good news: Unlike with a regular headache, migraine symptoms can be so severe they keep you from doing the activities you would normally participate in, such as going to work, school, or social activities, said Holly Yancy, DO, a neurologist who specializes in headache neurology with Banner University Medicine Neurosciences Clinic;in Phoenix, Arizona.

Migraine symptoms can include throbbing pain, sometimes on one side of the head but often on both sides, that worsens with movement and activity, said Dr. Yancy, and migraines can also cause nausea and vomiting. Dr. Yancy noted other symptoms may include sensitivity to light, sounds or smells, and that some sufferers also experience aura in the form of visual changes, numbness or tingling, or difficulty with language.

Migraines are genetic and difficult to prevent, according to Dr. Yancy, but you may benefit from lifestyle adjustments that could help . Migraine brains prefer regularity regular meals, regular sleep, regular exercise, said Dr. Yancy. I also encourage my patients to learn stress reduction techniques, which are almost always beneficial, and to try to identify triggers that might be avoidable, such as particular foods or drinks.”

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