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Headache: causes and prevention tips

  • Headaches are a result of irritation of nerves and pain sensitive structures such as the nerves arising from the brain, the blood vessels and muscles in the head and neck region.
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    Headaches are a result of irritation of nerves and pain sensitive structures such as the nerves arising from the brain, the blood vessels and muscles in the head and neck region.

  • Some common varieties of headaches are migraine with aura where the pain is preceded by an aura with blurred vision, tingling in the skin, appearance of zig-zag lines in front of eyes and confusion. The other is migraine without aura, which has no warning aura.
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    Some common varieties of headaches are migraine with aura where the pain is preceded by an aura with blurred vision, tingling in the skin, appearance of zig-zag lines in front of eyes and confusion. The other is migraine without aura, which has no warning aura.

  • Other kinds of headaches include: Tension headache, Cluster headache, Rebound and Sinus headache. Headaches can also occur due to head injuries.
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    Other kinds of headaches include: Tension headache, Cluster headache, Rebound and Sinus headache. Headaches can also occur due to head injuries.

  • Headaches are also associated with systemic infections, vascular diseases and metabolic disorders. Most important are those associated with raised pressure in the head which includes headache with tumours.
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    Headaches are also associated with systemic infections, vascular diseases and metabolic disorders. Most important are those associated with raised pressure in the head which includes headache with tumours.

  • A detailed history of headaches is essential. The patient should maintain a record of headaches, and an account of sleep, diet, emotional episodes and other contributing factors, leading to headaches.
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    A detailed history of headaches is essential. The patient should maintain a record of headaches, and an account of sleep, diet, emotional episodes and other contributing factors, leading to headaches.

  • Maintaining proper diet and regular exercising at a fixed time of the day help prevent headaches.
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    Maintaining proper diet and regular exercising at a fixed time of the day help prevent headaches.

  • Stretch frequently if your job requires you to remain seated for long periods of time.
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    Stretch frequently if your job requires you to remain seated for long periods of time.

  • Avoid eating food that triggers headache. Chocolate, wine and aged cheeses can trigger headaches.
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    Avoid eating food that triggers headache. Chocolate, wine and aged cheeses can trigger headaches.

  • Do yoga and meditation regularly to avoid headaches. Performing yoga would help you to manage stress.
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    Do yoga and meditation regularly to avoid headaches. Performing yoga would help you to manage stress.

  • You should go to bed every night at a decent time, and make sure you get at least 8 hours of sleep.
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    You should go to bed every night at a decent time, and make sure you get at least 8 hours of sleep.

  • Dont drink caffeine. Stay away from sodas and coffee that contain caffeine, which restricts blood vessels and causes headaches.
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    Don't drink caffeine. Stay away from sodas and coffee that contain caffeine, which restricts blood vessels and causes headaches.

  • Head massage can also provide relief to headaches. A head massage makes you feel relaxed and calms you mind and revitalise the brain and body. It also improves blood circulation in different parts of your head.
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    Head massage can also provide relief to headaches. A head massage makes you feel relaxed and calms you mind and revitalise the brain and body. It also improves blood circulation in different parts of your head.

  • Ice packs have been used for years to treat headaches and they still work. You usually find ice packs at your drugstore. A cold rag on your neck or forehead can also work wonders.
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    Ice packs have been used for years to treat headaches and they still work. You usually find ice packs at your drugstore. A cold rag on your neck or forehead can also work wonders.

  • Get your teeth checked regularly. Periodic headaches may be linked to a dental problem.
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    Get your teeth checked regularly. Periodic headaches may be linked to a dental problem.

  • Pain killers suppress the pain, without affording it a permanent cure. And when the pain resurfaces, it will arrive with double force.
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    Pain killers suppress the pain, without affording it a permanent cure. And when the pain resurfaces, it will arrive with double force.

  • Ventilate your home and workplace.
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    Ventilate your home and workplace.

  • A neurological examination involving assessment of the cranial nerves, reflexes and brain function is essential. Other tests that may be asked for include CT scan or MRI. Blood tests including a complete blood count and chemistry profile may also be helpful.
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    A neurological examination involving assessment of the cranial nerves, reflexes and brain function is essential. Other tests that may be asked for include CT scan or MRI. Blood tests including a complete blood count and chemistry profile may also be helpful.

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