ANSWERS: 8
  • I get headaches that can knock me completely out -- I attribute it to drinking coffee, and developing a dependency on caffiene, that causes me to drink more and more until I get a killer migraine. I'll lay off the coffee for a week or two -- and then have my first cup, within a month or 2 I'll be back at 3 cups a day -- get a killer migraine and quit again. Addiction sucks.
  • Ask your Doctor to investigate Hypnic Headache. They usually affect people over 50 years old but in my case on my 40th. Extremely painfull and occurs during REM (Deep sleep) approx' 2 hours after falling asleep. Its other common name is alarm clock headache for that reason. I have been subscribed Verapamil 360mg daily. I have just found by taking a 500mg Paracetamol just before going to bed it helps significantly. Good luck.
  • Go to your doctor.
  • There are many causes of headache. It could be a manifestation of an elevated blood pressure, neck problems, eye problems, ear problems or sinus problems. One very rare form of headache is known as "A hypnic headache!" but it is very rare indeed. However, one disease known as temporal arteritis may be worth consideration. Then again I wouldn't put it at the top of the list either but it may be worth while to discuss this with your doctor. Temporal (giant cell) arteritis is an inflammatory disorder of arteries that frequently involves the extracranial carotid circulation. Temporal arteritis occurs mainly in white women in their late life. Autoimmune processes presumably provide the cause. New, severe, sustained, steady or throbbing headache most often located in the temporal region of the scalp and accompanied by a tender, nodular, or incompressible artery in the area. Head pain also may affect the masseter or sterno­cleidomastoid muscles, occasionally as the chief symptom. Associated symptoms may include malaise,crackling sounds, visual disterbances, fatigue, weight loss, low-grade fever, and proximal myalgia affecting the pectoral or pelvic girdle areas (polymyalgia rheumatica). The erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) usually rises to 60 mm/hr or more. Are there different types of headache? There are nearly twenty different types of headache. Some of the most common include tension headache, migraine, cluster headache and temporal headache. Tension headache (also referred to as stress headache). Often resulting from muscle contractions in the head and neck, the feeling is described as a constant, non-throbbing ache on the sides or at the back of the head, combined with a fullness, tightness or pressure as if a band were strapped across the forehead. Stress, fatigue, depression, poor posture and eye strain can trigger isolated instances of tension headaches, however, they may become chronic and persistent. Migraine Migraine headaches are recurrent disabling headaches. Often starting in puberty, they are twice as common in women as in men and may be chronic. The pain, which is throbbing and severe, usually affects one side of the head and can last anywhere from four hours to three days. Other symptoms of migraine can include nausea, dizziness, vomiting, cold hands and sensitivity to light and sound. Frequency of attacks varies from three to four times a week to one or two attacks in a lifetime. Ten to twenty percent of migraine sufferers have experienced blurred vision, dazzling zigzag lines or tingling in the side of the face. Some people also experience neurological symptoms, such as temporary loss of sight. Cluster headaches Affecting the eye, cheek or temple, cluster headaches are relatively short-lived, lasting from thirty minutes to three hours. Other symptoms include bloodshot watery eyes, flushing of the face and nasal congestion. The onset of pain occurs during REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep and is severe, unilateral and non-throbbing. The pains occur one to three times a day for weeks and sometimes months, and then subside. They may return a few months later, however. Set off by stress, alcohol and smoking, cluster headaches are four times more common in men than in women. Temporal headaches Temporal headaches are due to inflammation of the temporal artery. Usually seen in people over the age of fifty-five, they may cause sight problems if left untreated. Pains include jabbing, or burning and occur in the temples or around the ear when chewing. What are the typical causes? Just as there are many different types of headache, so there are also many causes. Chronic tension headaches may be caused by: ? Hormone treatment, such as hormone replacement therapy (HRT); • Fever; • Sinusitis; • Tension; • Pre-menstrual tension; • Oral contraceptive pills; • Excessive codeine; • Alcohol intake; • Cigarette smoking; • Cervical arthritis; • Head injury; • Inflamed temporal arteries; • Brain tumour. Migraines may be triggered by certain foods containing the amino acid tyramine or preservatives and artificial sweeteners, such as aged cheese, red wine, smoked fish, chocolate, citrus fruit and alcohol. Stress, lack of sleep and smoking also may cause them. Some headache pain may be a result of a subaracnoid haemorrage (SAH), which is when internal bleeding occurs in the brain. Affecting the back of the head, or the occipital region, SAH can produce severe and sudden pain. Headache due to infection and inflammation of the meninges, or membrane around the brain and spinal cord is a symptom of bacterial meningitis. Meningitis can progress to the point of being life threatening within twenty-four hours for adults and even less time for children. If your headache is combined with a stiff neck and sensitivity to light, consult your doctor immediately. Should I see a doctor? Because headaches are such a common complaint, many people suffer in silence and do not seek the advice of a doctor. Determining the exact cause of your headache may sometimes be difficult. Consequently, your doctor will need to take a thorough and careful history concerning any previous illness, lifestyle habits, diet and family history. The questions you will be asked can include: what is the type of pain, where is it located, when does it occur and how often, how long does it last, does anything make it better or worse, are you taking any drugs. You will also be quizzed about any other symptoms associated with the pain, such as nausea, vomiting and visual or speech disturbances. In most cases, further investigations are not necessary. If the information obtained in your history points to a particular diagnosis, however, your doctor may recommend further tests. What treatments are available? Rather than merely treating the symptom of the headache, seek to treat the cause. Relying too heavily on aspirin or other over-the-counter painkillers can actually make chronic headaches worse. As certain foods can trigger headaches, try eliminating those that contain tyramine, aspartame, monosodium glutamate or nitrates for a short period of time. These include alcohol, bananas, cheese, chicken, chocolate, citrus fruits, cold cuts, herring, onions, peanut butter, pork, smoked fish and fresh-baked yeast products. Gradually reintroduce the foods into your diet one-by-one to see whether or not they trigger a headache. Tension headaches can be relieved by taking over-the-counter painkillers. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs also may be effective in relieving the headaches. If the tension headaches are chronic, they may be associated with depression, in which case anti-depressant drugs can help. Treatment for migraines involves avoiding known triggers. A study published in the British medical journal The Lancet showed that 93% of migraine sufferers found relief from eliminating allergenic foods from their diet. If you suffer from migraines, familiarise yourself with what foods may precipitate an attack. Also, consult your doctor about the various drugs aimed at preventing migraines. Other treatments for various types of headaches can include inhaling or ingesting high concentrations of oxygen, steroids or prescription drugs, hospitalisation and, on occasion, surgical procedures. Headaches caused by bacterial meningitis require immediate treatment with intravenous antibiotics in hospital. Can complementary therapies help? Complementary therapies may also help ease the pain of headache. An ointment made from ginger and peppermint oil may be rubbed on the temples and back of the neck. With sinus headaches, lightly spread the salve over the sinus area. Apply cold compresses directly onto the area from which the pain originates. This helps to relieve headaches by constricting blood vessels and reducing muscle spasms. As tight muscles can cause contractions that result in headache pain, use a heating pad, hot towel or hot water bottle to relax your neck and shoulders when they are too tight. To combine both therapies at once, try taking a hot steam bath and place a cold hand towel over the painful area. Herbs that may relieve headache pain include feverfew, lavender, marshmallow, mint, rosemary, skullcap and thyme. Never take feverfew during pregnancy. As a lack of oxygen may cause headaches, practice deep-breathing exercises. Poor vertebral alignment may cause reduced blood flow to the brain. Chiropractic adjustments may help. How can I prevent headache? A lack of oxygen can cause headaches, so avoid smoking and smokey environments. Maintain a healthy, balanced diet and incorporate stress management and deep breathing techniques into your daily routine. Regular exercise can help prevent tension headaches and may also reduce the frequency and severity of migraines. Other types of headache, however, are only made worse by exercise. Talk to your doctor about whether to use exercise to control the pain.
  • I would see a doctor to see what the headaches are caused from. I suffer from frequent migraines all the time and it stinks but I had my head scanned to make sure my headaches were not caused by something more serious.
  • go see your doctor about it
  • The cracking makes me think of an inner ear problem. But as stated there are many reasons for headache from simple dehydration to brain tumors and brain cancer. Best to get checked out by your doctor.
  • Sound like low blood pressure and/or blockage of heart valves. Are you overweight? Do you have pins and needles in your limbs? If symptoms persist for more than 24 hours then seek medical help.

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