Causes Of Headache

Causes Of Headaches: Smoking And Stress

Basically a headache is defined as a continuous or persistent pain in the head caused by dilution of cerebral arteries or muscle contractions. This dilution and contraction can be caused by various conditions.

You can observe for yourself that sitting too long in a smoke-filled environment has often led you to experience headaches. This is because it has now been conclusively proved that smoking or inhaling even second hand smoke may lead to a headache. The culprit over here is nicotine, a major ingredient found in tobacco smoke.

Although this is the most common in cluster headache patients, the odor of burning tobacco or some other strong odors can also affect people with migraine. Cigarette smoke is worse because it tends to hang around, causing irritation of nasal passages and restricting the amount of oxygen reaching the brain thus leading to headaches and migraines.

Thus those who are sensitive to smoke must avoid smoky places and even ask friends and family members to stop smoking.

Stress is a part and parcel of modern life. It has been recognized to be one of the most common factors triggering a headache. Stress can physical or emotional. Either way, it can contribute to a headache.

Stressful events may trigger off migraine attacks or even tension-type headaches in susceptible persons. Certain chemicals released during stress may lead to vascular changes associated with migraines. The more the stress, the more the attacks.

Anxiety, worry, shock, depression, excitement, fatigue, repressed emotions and/or muscle tension may trigger a migraine headache.

Daily or chronic stress can bring on daily tension-type headaches. There may also be sleep disturbances. The episodic tension-type headaches are related to specific instances of increased worry, concern or stress. Over-the-counter analgesics may be safely taken to overcome them. For the tension-type headache, methods like biofeedback, behavioral modification, psychotherapy and antidepressants might work.

However, the best possible way is to remove the source of tension itself.