Prevent Headaches by Understanding the Cause

By: Scott Fromherz

"Since we can't know what knowledge will be most needed in the future, it is senseless to try to teach it in advance. Instead, we should try to turn out people who love learning so much and learn so well that they will be able to learn whatever needs to be learned."
-John Holt

Headaches are a common complaint among the general population, and can be caused by any number of things. The most common types of recurring headaches include tension, cluster and migraines. The origination of the pain can vary, depending on the type of headache that you are suffering from, but the treatments can be similar, in terms of the types of medications that you might choose to take to relieve your symptoms.

Here's what Wikipedia has to say about the topic:

"The vast majority of headaches are benign and self-limiting. Common causes are tension, migraine, eye strain, dehydration, low blood sugar, and sinusitis. Much rarer are headaches due to life-threatening conditions such as meningitis, encephalitis, cerebral aneurysms, and brain tumors. When the headache occurs in conjunction with a head injury the cause is usually quite evident. A large percentage of headaches among females are caused by ever-fluctuating estrogen during menstrual years. This can occur prior to, during or even mid-cycle menstruation.

Treatment of uncomplicated headache is usually symptomatic with over-the-counter painkillers such as aspirin, paracetamol (acetaminophen) or ibuprofen, although some specific forms of headaches (e.g., migraines) may demand other, more suitable treatment. It may be possible to relate the occurrence of a headache to other particular triggers (such as stress or particular foods), which can then be avoided."

Acetaminophen, ibuprofen and aspirin are some of the most common headache remedies. Other methods for alleviating the pain include lying down, using a cool compress over the eyes, and sleep. Sometimes the best way to treat a headache is to prevent it before it starts, and you can do this most effectively when you understand what the most common causes for this type of pain are.

Physical Causes of Pain

Some headache causes include stress and anxiety, which can create tension in the neck and shoulder area. This tension can lead to pain in the head as well. This type of discomfort can usually be alleviated with plenty of rest and regular exercise, which will help you to manage your stress as well as the pain that it causes.

Many types of illness are accompanied by a headache as well, including upper respiratory and sinus infections, and illnesses that are categorized by a fever. In these cases, you may not be able to prevent the pain, but you can effectively treat it with over the counter pain medications. There are many causes of headaches, but the good news is that there are also plenty of options for preventing and treating them.

Prevention by Changing Diet and Other Habits

For some, headaches can be caused by certain things they eat or drink. For example, eating something cold, like ice cream, too quickly can cause pain. It can also be caused by drinking too much alcohol or caffeine, or not drinking enough water.

In these instances, the obvious remedy is to eat more slowly, cut back or increase intake, depending on the substance in question. Exposure to certain types of smoke or chemicals can also cause pain, so stay away from the known substances, like cigarette smoke, as much as possible.

It is also possible that some of the medications that you are taking are causing pain as one of the side effects. If you suspect that a medication is causing your headaches, talk to your doctor about a possible change to your prescription.

It is also important to note that this side effect may go away after the first few doses of the medicine. In this case, it might be wise to wait a few days to see if the pain ceases before changing your prescription. Eyestrain can also be a culprit of headaches, so make sure to take frequent breaks when spending time in front of the computer, and use adequate lighting when reading or performing other tasks.

To find more information the topic, here are some suggestions:

1) The internet - one can use a favorite search engine
2) Catalogs - There are hundreds of catalogs on almost every topic imaginable
3) Local stores - depending on the store, well-trained employees can be a great resource

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