Causes Of Headache

Causes Of Headaches: Pseudotumor Cerebri And Stroke

If you are suffering from a headache then it is first essential to find out the cause of your headache and then choose the cure. Though treatable, the causes of headaches can be extremely varied.

Seudotumor Cerebri
The word 'pseudo' means 'false'. Hence the word pseudotumor literally means a 'false tumor'. This condition is so named because the symptoms of a pseudotumor mimic those of an actual tumor.

In this case, the cerebrospinal fluid surrounding the brain exerts extra pressure leading to headaches which although varying in intensity, can occur daily. Apart from headache, nausea, vomiting and pulsating intracranial noises can also occur. These are also the symptoms associated with a tumor. A psuedotumor can lead to a permanent loss of vision.

It is most common in women in the age group of 20-50. The causes for this have been attributed to certain drugs, hormones, and vitamins.

It is commonly seen that if the causative agent is removed, the condition automatically improves. However, in some cases treatment with diuretics or steroids may be required. Sometimes surgery may be needed to remove pressure from the optic nerve. But, in some cases, the pseudotumor may recur even after proper treatment.

The brain being the most important part of the body needs a continuous supply of oxygen and nutrients. Any blockage or interruption in this supply can lead to the brain cells dying, thereby, leading to a stroke. Strokes can also cause sudden bleeding in or around the brain.

Strokes can be classified as:
Ischemic/cerebral infarction: This stroke occurs when a blood vessel is blocked.

Haemmorhagic: This stroke causes bleeding in and around the brain. Such patients almost always suffer from a sudden, severe and persistent headache. This is because the blood displaces the pain-sensitive blood vessels in the head.

It is very essential for people to be familiar with the symptoms of a stroke so that immediate medical attention may be provided to minimize damage to the brain.

The symptoms associated with stroke are confusion while speaking or understanding, sudden vision trouble, sudden trouble while walking, dizziness, loss of balance, and of course a sudden headache.

Usually, strokes and migraines are quite unrelated but in people under 40, migraine may be the cause of a stroke, especially if the migraine has been a long-term untreated migraine. Also, the risk is more if the migraine is a classical migraine (with aura). This high-risk category should also avoid other precipitating factors like smoking and a high cholesterol diet.

It is important to recognize and treat a stroke at the earliest as it may lead to paralysis (hemiplegia) or weakness of one side of the body (hemiparesis). The patient might also suffer from depression and emotional problems. The treatment can be undertaken while the stroke is still in progress by either dissolving the blood clot or stopping or at least controlling the bleeding.