Causes Of Headache

Headache- Several Causes, a host of Treatments

A headache is a sensation of pain which is felt due to irritation in various parts of the head and neck. This feeling of pain gets transferred from one area of the body to other through associated nerves. Headache is the most common illness and almost everyone experiences headaches during their lifetime. To treat headache as many as 15 percent of the people take painkillers. There are many types of headaches and several causes of them. This explains why the condition is so common.

Headaches have many causes ranging from eyestrain to sinus infection to life-threatening diseases like brain tumor and cerebral aneurysms among others. The cause of the headache is quite evident in cases such as head injury; but it is more elusive in other cases. Headaches may also be triggered by tension and that is the most common type of headache. Many people experience the same when they are hungry or dehydrated.

There are various reasons that cause headache, namely:
  • Stress and tension
  • Eye problems
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Nervous system disorder
  • Jaw problems
  • Diet and food sensitivities
  • Nose, throat and ear disorder
  • Use of certain medications
  • Consumption of excessive alcohol / hangover
  • Excessive smoking

Stress and muscular tension-
Tension headaches are due to contraction of the neck, shoulder, jaw and scalp muscles. They are often related to depression, anxiety or stress. This condition is triggered by missed meals, overworking, not getting enough sleep or abuse of alcohol and street drugs. The patient is characterized by shallow breathing, increased blood pressure and heart rate and an elevated amount of 'stress chemicals' like adrenaline. Tension headaches start at the back of the head and spreads forward to both sides of the head.

Eye Problem-
A person having difficulty in his vision such as long-sightedness or eye diseases like glaucoma, suffer from headaches. This happens because they tend to squint and strain their eye muscles for focusing their vision better.

Hormonal Imbalances-
Hormonal imbalances such as that of sex hormone estrogen is a major cause of headaches especially in women. For many women, migraines occur a few days before or after their menstrual period.

Nervous System-
Any damage, irritation or inflammation in the nervous system can cause a headache. Some causes of these are:
  • Hemorrhages
  • Infection
  • Nerve damage

Jaw Problems-
Dental infections and problems with the joints of the jaw can cause pain in the jaw accompanied by headache and face pain. Misaligned teeth can increase muscular tension and cause headache.

Diet and Food Sensitivities-
Some studies suggest that out eating patterns play a significant role in headache and migraine. Headache due to diet and food sensitivities is caused by:
  • Excessive intake of caffeine through tea and coffee.
  • Fluctuation in blood sugar levels.
  • Food additives like Monosodium Glutamate (MSG).

Nose, Throat and Ear Disorder-
Many problems of the nose, throat and ear can cause headaches such as Sinusitis, Infections, Trauma such as blows to the ear, hay fever, Tonsillitis and Tumors.

Overuse of Certain Medications-
Overuse of medications such as birth control pills, painkillers and drugs for diabetes can aggravate headaches in some people.

Other Causes-
Other causes of headaches include poor posture, hangover, extreme heat and cold temperatures, dehydration and noise.