How does lifestyle affect headaches?
All people experience headaches, although not so often. But what if the head hurts constantly, and not three times a month? The reason can be both in the lifestyle and in the deterioration of health.
If you suffer from regular headaches, pay attention to your habits. Discomfort can come from fatigue, hunger, lack of sleep, overexertion, or stress. Try changing your routine for at least a couple of weeks to relieve pain:
- Go to bed early; a person needs at least 8 hours of sleep to rest. But don’t sleep more than 10 hours. In this case, the oxygen and blood sugar levels will drop and cause a headache.
- If you sit for a long time at books, a computer, or your work is connected with looking at small details once every half hour, get distracted. Get up, stretch, do not strain your eyes for at least a couple of minutes.
- Stop drinking alcohol. It affects blood pressure and affects the state of the blood vessels in the head.
- Try to avoid stressful situations and negative emotions. If your headache isn’t caused by illness, then these simple tips can help you avoid it.
You can use medications for headaches, have a snack, lie down to sleep for half an hour, ventilate the room and do a head massage to relieve pain.
When should you see a neurologist?
There are very few diseases that affect nerve tissues and the brain. Headache can be caused by:
- Neuralgia of the facial and caused trigeminal nerves: the nerve fibers are pinched and inflamed, which can cause you to feel pain constantly.
- Neoplasms. Both benign and malignant tumors press on the vessels, increase intracranial pressure. The head hurts only on the side where the tumor is located. A general deterioration can suspect the disease of the condition, fever, lethargy, and fatigue.
If the causes of the headache are not clear, the neurologist will refer you to an MRI or CT scan of the brain, where they will quickly determine the cause of the discomfort. And if everything is in order with the brain itself, a competent neurologist will find the source of pain and refer to a doctor of the required specialty and prescribe medicine for headache.
Heart and spine problems
Do not mindlessly take medications for headaches without knowing the cause of persistent pain. Often the head hurts due to problems with the heart and blood vessels. Usually, older people are prone to this, but some diseases are common among young people:
- High and low blood pressure. The head hurts when the weather changes; with a sharp rise, dizziness may begin and darken in the eyes. This is due to vascular tension and oxygen starvation of the brain.
- Vascular diseases. The pain lasts for several hours in the eye area, and blood may flow from the nose.
- Sclerosis and pinching of blood vessels are inevitable companions of atherosclerosis and scoliosis. Due to the reduced lumen of the vessels, less oxygen enters the brain; the head begins to ache either over the entire area or in the back of the head and temples.
- Stroke thrombosis or rupture of blood vessels in the brain. Severe dull pain appears a person may lose mobility on one side of the face or body and stop distinguishing familiar objects. At the first symptoms of a stroke, it is necessary to call an ambulance in a few hours urgently; the brain will begin to die. To detect problems with blood pressure, you just need to monitor your condition. It is no coincidence that at every appointment with a therapist, you must measure your blood pressure. Do not be alarmed if, someday, it changes; this is entirely normal. But the vascular disease can only be seen on MRI of the brain or magnetic resonance angiography. You would be referred for these examinations to accurately establish a diagnosis if it did not work out right away.
- If you have back problems, the headache most likely hurts, so you should not constantly use headache medicine. Any curvature of posture, an increase in bone tissue on the vertebrae, hernia, and protrusion lead to pinching of blood vessels. And because of this, oxygen and nutrients cannot enter the brain, which causes pain, fatigue, and drowsiness. Much less often, the pain from the spine radiates to the head. This happens with injuries, hernias, and curvatures of the cervical and upper thoracic regions.
Spine problems are dealt with by a neurologist and an orthopedic surgeon. The doctor will pay attention to the back’s curvature, first of all, even on a simple visual examination. To clarify the diagnosis, the doctor may prescribe an X-ray, MRI, or CT scan of the damaged spine. After the examination, your doctor will prescribe the correct treatment and medications for headaches for you.
Headache after injury and illness
You need to determine the cause of the disease to choose the right medications for headaches. Pain can be caused by two types of injuries, damage to the skull and spine. The reason for their discomfort is different:
- With traumatic brain injury, a hematoma is formed, which increases intracranial pressure. It squeezes blood vessels and proximal parts of the brain. If the skull is damaged, fragments can get inside and cause bleeding. In this case, the pain occurs some time after the injury. The eyes will darken, dizziness and nausea will begin. There is pain all over the head, but it is especially severe at the site of the injury.
- With spinal injuries, large vessels are clamped, which causes oxygen starvation. If the neck is injured, then the head will ache simply from the proximity of the injury.
In both cases, you must immediately consult a doctor. To clarify the nature and extent of the injury, the doctor can do an X-ray or MRI, but only after the acute phase has passed. The doctor will then prescribe the appropriate medications for headaches for you.
Diseases can affect headache both directly and indirectly:
- Severe infections can lead to inflammation of the brain structures, thinning of the vessel walls, and destruction of the meninges.
- With flu, colds, sore throats, and any other respiratory disease, breathing is disturbed. And because of the smaller amount of incoming air, oxygen starvation and headache begin.
In these conditions, it makes no sense to go to a neurologist complaining of a headache. It is better to tell your doctor about it to analyze the situation, adjust the treatment, prescribe headache medicine, or send you to the hospital.
You shouldn’t drink medications for headaches all the time instead of looking for the cause of the persistent pain. There are many causes of headaches, and it can be difficult to identify the main quickly. The diagnostic methods are very similar, and you do not have to spend a lot of time on examinations. Getting rid of a constant headache is worth all the time spent on it.