What Causes a Headache

While most of us have suffered from a headache at one time or another, all headaches differ in severity as well as what brings them on. There are hundreds of different reasons for what causes a headache, including the more serious ones involving medical ailments such as brain tumors and aneurysms. Most of us only suffer from common headaches that while annoying and painful, these common headaches can be treated effectively with over-the-counter medications.

If you spend long hours in front of your computer screen or television, your eyes tend to strain from it and that can bring on a headache. If you suffer from allergies or you have a cold, your headache can be caused by inflammed sinuses. In some instances, overuse of prescription medications can lead to headaches. This type of headache is appropriately known as medication overuse headache or simply MOH.

Regardless of the cause of the headache, the body reacts when the blood vessels constrict. This is what causes the pain. The pain isn’t felt in the brain, but this is where the signal that something isn’t right comes from. When blood vessels contract, tension headache or a cluster headache results. When the blood vessels dilate, migraines and cluster headaches happen. Most of the research on migraines indicates there are many other factors that take place, but they haven’t exactly been pinpointed yet.

Tension headaches result from the neck, shoulder or jaw muscles getting stiff. Chronic headaches or very severe ones can be a symptom of a severe medical condition, such as encephalitis or brain cancer, that needs to be addressed. However, the list of diseases that could possibly cause headaches is quite long. Headaches can be caused by everything rom rabies to scarlet fever or irritable bowel syndrome.

There is plenty of research to indicate that factors in our environment can lead to headaches. Carbon monoxide is a gas that is released into the air from vehicles and it can cause headaches. Those who suffer from allergies are quite sensitive to pollens and can get a headache from them. Food poisoning and lead poisoning can both cause headaches as well.

Food isn’t generally something you view as toxic, but there is plenty of bacteria that can get into it. Some people are more sensitive to this type of bacteria than others. Even very common food items such as chocolate or cheese can cause some people to develop a headache. Too much caffeine can result in headaches, but many people find that if they don’t consume enough coffee or if they suddenly stop drinking coffee altogether, they develop headaches as well. Red wine and some preservatives, including MSG (monosodium glutamate) are also common culprits .

You may be surprised to find that your posture can lead to headaches. This is common in people who work with computers because of the amount of tension in their body and the way they sit at the computer terminal. It is believed that 90% of headaches are caused by tension in the body. It is a good idea to do all you can to relax on a daily basis to help alleviate those annoying headaches from coming on.

Page Updated: November 12, 2016
© 2017 Healthy Living Answers