Headaches 101 Part 1: The Migraine (Causes and Treatments)

Did you know there are types of headaches which have different causes and treatments? One common type is the migraine.

We all get headaches every now and then, but did you know there are also types of headaches which have varying causes and treatments?

A headache is not caused by the brain hurting. We get a headache because the brain receives impulses from other parts of the body or from blood vessels inside and outside the head.

Roughly 90% of men and women encounter a headache at least once a year. We usually take an over-the-counter painkiller to make the typical headache after a long day go away, but there could be more to a headache than just a stressful day.

There are three most common types of headaches. The migraine, the tension headache and the cluster headache.

First we look at the migraine and how best to deal with it.

The Migraine: The migraine is experienced by at least 1% of the population, every year. We make the mistake of calling every splitting headache we have a migraine, but technically, a migraine is characterized by a persistent throbbing pain in the head, most of the time occurring only on one side. Extreme stimuli such as brightness and loud noises may aggravate a migraine. 20% of people who get a migraine may see flashing lights before their eyes, or lose sight for awhile in one eye. Worse cases may induce vomiting.

So why do we get migraines?

There is no definite and uncontested answer. What neurologists know is that migraine occurrences could be due to blood flow changes. These fluctuations may be caused by a variety of factors like changes in temperature, diet and even in lighting. You also have to know that migraines run in families.

Sometimes over-the-counter (OTC) pain killers will do the trick. Some nurses would advice taking caffeine along with the medicine. For some reason, nurses attest to the fact that caffeine does help in easing pain caused by migraine. Getting some downtime also works for mild migraines. Get some fresh air in a breezy and quiet place or lock yourself in your room, have good ventilation and soothing music, or just plain silence. And take a break from your PSP, laptop and mobile phone!

It is advised by medical practitioners that you go for a checkup if you have been experiencing intense migraines. If unattended, migraines can escalate to nearly crippling you and preventing you from working.

Headache medication may seem ordinary, but don't take it for granted. Make sure you take only the right dosage indicated in the prescription. DO NOT overdose for whatever reason!

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