Causes Of Headache

What are the Causes of Headache?

A headache is a sensation of pain which may arise due to irritation in various structures in the head or the neck. This pain can transmit from one area of the body to the other through associated nerves. Almost everyone experience headaches during their lifetime. It is the most common illness that may occur to anyone and anywhere. About 15 percent of the people suffering from headache rely upon painkillers to relieve themselves from pain.

There are many types of headaches and numerous causes of it. That is why the problem is so common.

 Headaches can occur due to several reasons such as eyestrain, sinus infection, brain tumor and cerebral aneurysms among others. The causes of headache are quite evident in some cases but may be elusive in others. Tension may also give rise to headache in some people which is the most common reason for headache. Some people may experience a headache if they are hungry or dehydrated.

There are various factors that can lead to a headache :
  • Stress and tension
  • Eye problems
  • Hormonal Influences
  • Nervous system disorder
  • Jaw problems
  • Diet and food sensitivities
  • Nose, throat and ear disorder
  • Use of certain medications

Stress and Tension: Headaches caused by tension are due to contraction of the neck, shoulder, jaw and scalp muscles. They are often related to depression, anxiety or stress. This is triggered by skipping meals, overworking, not getting enough sleep or overuse 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 spread forward to both sides of the head.

Eye Problem:
An individual suffering from long-sightedness, short-sightedness or any other eye diseases like glaucoma are prone to headache. This happens as they tend to squint and strain their eye muscles for better focusing and visibility.

Hormonal Influences:
Hormonal imbalances  are a major cause for headaches especially in women. Many women suffer from migraines a few days before or after their menstrual period.

Nervous System Disorder:
Any damage, irritation or inflammation in the nervous system can also lead to headache. Some examples of this type of disorder are:
  • Hemorrhage
  • Infection
  • Nerve damage

Jaw Problems:
Dental infections or problems with the joints of the jaw can cause headache. It is usually accompanied by headache and face pain. Misaligned teeth can also increase muscular tension and cause headache.

Diet and food sensitivities:
Some studies suggest that what we eat and when we eat plays a significant role in headache and migraine. Headache due to diet and food sensitivities is usually caused by:
  • Excessive intake of caffeine through tea and coffee
  • Fluctuation in blood sugar levels
  • Food additives, like Mono Sodium Glutamate (MSG)

Nose, throat and ear disorder:
Many problems of nose, throat and ear can propel headaches such as Sinusitis, Infections, Trauma like blows to the ear, hay fever, Tonsillitis and Tumors.

Use of certain medications: Excessive of some medications such as birth control pills, painkillers and drugs for diabetes can aggravate headaches in some people.

Other causes: Poor posture, hangover, excessive drinking or smoking, extreme heat and cold temperatures, dehydration and noise can also instigate headache in some people.