Posted By : Akashdeep Singh   (India) [email protected]
Question :
I have frequent headaches. Can you highlight some of the important causes?

Answer :
Almost every one experiences headache in life. It is one of the most common ailments of human beings. The sales of headache remedies, running in crores of rupees, is a proof of that. Most people know that headache is usually not serious, and is often caused by tension. Many believe that eyestrain and the need for glasses are a major cause of headaches.

Almost all headaches can be divided into following groups: 1. Muscle contraction headache. 2. Migraine. 3. Diseases of head, eyes, ears, teeth etc.

Muscle Contraction headaches are by far the most frequent type. The pain results from the pulling of muscles in the neck and the base of the head. Commonly the pain is not felt locally where the muscles are contracting. Sometimes, it may, be “referred” to and felt in unrelated areas such as the forehead or the temples or the eye sockets. A pain in the eye balls therefore can be due to disease process somewhere else. It may originate in the neck muscles. This can lead to confusion about the cause of the pain. Some patients with Cervical Spondylytis may experience pain in the eyes.

Muscles contraction headaches can result from temporary increases in tension in everyday life, such as stress at work or at home. They may be a result of sleeping or working in a strange position, or of an unusually long period of close work. In these cases, the headache is usually temporary and is often relieved by a simple over-the-counter pain reliever. Some muscle contraction headaches last longer and are related to emotional feeling of depression. At other times, they occur because of arthritis in the neck, or a chronic state of high tension or anxiety.

Headaches caused by eye strain feel like muscle contraction headaches, but are clearly related to use of the eyes. Almost all headaches are made worse by extensive use of eyes but those which are caused by eye strain appear only when the eyes have been used heavily. Refractive errors (need to use glasses), weakness of muscles for moving the eyes in for near work (poor convergence), presbyopia (need of glasses for reading), bad posture while reading and inadequate illumination can lead to headache. Headache is more common in refractive errors of lower powers. It is more common in refractive errors of lower powers. It is more so in cases with astigmatism. Glaucoma, injury, surgery and inflammatory disorders of the eye can also contribute to ocular causes of headache.

Inadequate illumination, poor contrast and glare sources are some examples of poor visual hygiene and are responsible for headaches. Besides, improper posture of back and neck during reading or watching television can lead to a headache which may be wrongly attributed to reading or watching television.

Headaches caused by eye disease are usually felt in the eye or in the brow, on the side where the disease occurs. Frequently these headaches are associated with some other symptoms such as blurred vision, haloes around lights, or sensitivity to light.

Migraine headaches are the next most common cause of headache. In this type of headache, the pain is caused by stretching of the walls of blood vessel in the head. Some people seem to have a tendency to this sort of stretching, while others do not. Migraine headaches run in families and effect about one person in ten. Even young children may have migraine headaches.

Migraine can produce different symptoms in different people. In some, several very brief, severe headaches may have migraine headaches may occur close together. In others, a visual display of moving jagged lines may be followed by a severe headache, and some may have severe headache without other symptoms.

However, There are some common features of migraine headache. The pain tends not to be continuous, is often more server on one side of the head, is often accompanied with nausea and vomiting and is not associated with serious complication. Migraine may occur with a sudden increase or decrease in stress level. For instance, a person entertaining an unwelcome guest or a hard-working executive a mi


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