Headaches are a common occurrence in our society. In fact, each one of us has experienced a headache at one time or another. However, there is still so much that we do not understand about headache types and causes. While we know some triggers, it is hard to pinpoint the exact cause of many types of headaches. There are so many variables as well as degrees of pain associated with the different types that studying them is very difficult.
More than 28 million people suffer from migraine headaches, with two thirds of them being women. There is very little known about what actually causes migraine headaches to take place. Some research indicates that migraine headaches are a reaction with the serotonin in the body. Other research suggests there is a genetic link.
Less than 1% of the population suffer from cluster headaches, which are ranked as the most severe type of headaches when it comes to pain. Cluster headaches are much more intense than migraines. A typical cluster headache lasts up to one hour, and it will reoccur about the same time each day. A cluster headache can come on suddenly and last for weeks or months, and then disappear again. The cause of cluster headache has not been determined.
Even with all we know about tension headaches, only part of the causes are known. These causes include stress, poor diet choices, posture and various medical conditions. The connection that makes these things result in a headache, however, isn’t known. The good news is that there are plenty of effective over-the-counter pain relievers for tension headache relief. Since there is no cure to prevent tension headaches from happening, finding an effective treatment that works for you is the next best thing.
Headache Pain Relievers
The most common over-the-counter pain relievers for headaches include aspirin, acetaminophen and ibuprofen. Both aspirin and acetaminophen have been in use for more than 100 years. Aspirin is considered to be one of the wonder drugs available because it safely reduces inflammation and takes care of headache pain.
In addition to over-the-counter medications, there are beta blockers, anti-depressants and other forms of medications that may be prescribed by a doctor to help individuals get relief from the types of headaches they are suffering from. These medications may not be able to prevent the headaches from happening, but they can reduce the amount of pain, reduce the frequency and help affected individuals function normally.
There are some health risks involved with taking any type of pain medication for headaches. Some common side effects include internal bleeding, stomach problems and ulcers. Taking too high of a dose of either over-the-counter or prescription pain medication can be dangerous to your health.
If you suffer from headaches on a regular basis, especially those that fall into the category of migraines or cluster headaches, you should see a doctor. It is possible that you have another health condition that could be triggering the headaches. These include brain tumors and cancer.
Pregnant women need to consult with a doctor before they consume any medications for headaches. Headaches are often more frequent during pregnancy due to hormone changes in the body. Eating a good diet can help pregnant women from experiencing too many headaches.
There is still plenty of research that needs to be completed in order to find the underlying causes of headaches. This will allow better treatment options to be found for those who suffer from headaches. In the meantime, you can help reduce your chances of getting a headache by reducing stress, getting enough rest, eating right and exercising every day.