Headache Information and Prevention

By: Juliet Cohen

Headache is defined as pain in the head that is settle above the eyes or the ears, behind the head (occipital), or in the back of the upper neck. Headache can be chronic, recurrent, or occasional. There are two types of headaches: primary headaches and secondary headaches. Primary headaches are not associated with (caused by) other diseases. Tension headaches are the most common type of primary headache; as many as 90% of adults have had or will have tension headaches. Tension headaches are more common among women than men. Cluster headaches are a rare type primary headache, affecting 0.1% of the population.

An estimated 85% of cluster headache sufferers are men. Migraine headaches are usually characterized by severe pain on one or both sides of the head, an upset stomach, and, at times, disturbed vision. The headaches tend to start between the ages of 10 and 46 and may run in families. Migraines occur more often in women than men. Pregnancy may reduce the number of migraines attacks. Migraine headaches are the second most common type of primary headache. Women are more likely than men to have migraine headaches. An estimated 28 million people in the United States (about 12% of the population) will experience migraine headaches.

Migraine headaches affect children as well as adults. An estimated 6% of men and up to 18% of women will experience a migraine headache. Secondary headache is associated with an underlying condition such as cerebrovascular disease, head trauma, infection, tumor, and metabolic disorder. Head pain also can result from syndromes involving the eyes, ears, neck, teeth, or sinuses. There is no specific cure for migraine headaches. The goal is to prevent symptoms by avoiding or altering triggers. Regular exercise, such as swimming or vigorous walking, can also reduce the frequency and severity of migraine headaches.

Headache Treatment and Prevention Tips

1. Aspirin, acetaminophen also recommeded.

2. Drink fluids to avoid dehydration of this condition.

3. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can be helpful for headache.

4. Regular exercise can also reduce the frequency and severity of migraine headaches.

5. Propranolol hydrochloride also reduces the frequency and severity of migraine headaches.

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