Causes of Headaches | What Causes Headaches

So, what causes headaches? Let’s find out..

Headache is defined as pain in your head or the upper part of your neck. It is one of the most common health problems, that all of us experience atleast once in our lifetime. There are a number of causes for headaches. To begin with, you must know that headaches are classified into 3 major type’s namely primary headache, secondary headache and cranial neuralgias, other headaches. The Primary headache includes migraine, cluster & tension headaches.

The tension headache is the most common kind of primary headache. It is more commonly seen in women than in men. You might suffer from tension headaches due to contraction of muscles over the scalp. Stress causes the muscles of your scalp to undergo spasm and contraction. You are more prone to suffer from tension headaches following physical and emotional stress.

The Migraine headache is the second most common type of headaches. You may complain of pain in the head with nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to noise. Most people suffering from migraines have pain in one side of the head which means you may suffer from unilateral headaches. If you have a positive family history of migraine, then you have a higher chance of suffering from it. Women are more prone to develop migraines as compared to men. Most people suffer from their first attack at migraine between the ages of 10 to 45 years. Only occasionally do they begin beyond this age. The cause of migraine is not known. However your headache may be triggered by physical or emotional stress, use of oral contraceptive pills, food containing monosodium glutamate, perimenopause, menopause, pregnancy, menstruation.

Here are some more causes of headaches.

Cluster headaches are another type of primary headache, and are quite rare. You may suffer from bouts of headaches which last over weeks or months and you may be relatively asymptomatic or pain free for a period of months or years. Each episode of pain can last from 30 to 90 minutes. It commonly affects men in their late 20’s. It often runs in families and you will be at a higher risk of suffering from cluster headaches if either of your parents suffers from it. Alcohol, smoking, certain drugs like nitroglycerin and altered sleep habits can trigger your headache.

Secondary headaches are those headaches which are caused due to some underlying structural problem in the head and neck. You may suffer from secondary headaches following head injury or trauma. Head injury can cause a bleed within your brain or between the various layers which covering your brain. There could be bleeding into the subdural, subarachnoid or epidural spaces and could be a cause of headache. Infections of the brain or its surrounding membranes could be another cause of secondary headaches. Brain tumours caused due to metastasis or due to a primary focus is another cause of headaches.

Temporal arteritis which means inflammation of the temporal arteries, cerebrovascular accidents – strokes or transient ischemic attacks all are causes of secondary headaches. Arteriovenous malformations in the brain are another common cause of headaches. High blood pressure, dehydration and hypothyroidism also cause headache.

Now you know what causes headaches and how to prevent getting them as frequently.

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