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Headache

Headache is the most common pain incidence suffered by Indians. As per a recent study it is the single largest pain incidence (28.1%). So common is the sensation of a throbbing head that almost half of all adults globally will experience at least one headache in any given year1. Headaches can arise in any region of the head, either both sides or just in one area.

Types of Headaches – causes and symptoms

Different types of headaches are triggered by different causes and they occur at various locations. For instance, while some headaches appear behind one or both eyes, some capture your temple area. Most headaches are classified into primary and secondary headaches. Primary headaches aren’t triggered by an illness or allergies. The pain in your head is the condition. Secondary headaches, on the other hand, are the result of something else that is going on in your body. Treating the cause of the headache can bring relief.

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Impact of headache

We’ve all suffered from a headache at some point in our life. But did you know that when headaches become a recurring phenomenon, they can impact various aspects of your life? Most people view primary headaches like migraine, tension and cluster headaches as ‘acceptable’. If they are experiencing a dull throbbing somewhere in their head, they still manage to go about their daily chores and ignore it till it goes away.
However, what happens when the dull throbbing is replaced by a searing, debilitating pain? Irritability, frustration and anger are some common emotions that people suffering from chronic headaches exhibit.

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Foods to avoid during headache

Whether you suffer from primary headaches such as migraines, tension headaches or cluster headaches, or secondary headaches like headaches from arthritis or jaw pain, all headaches have an inner or outer trigger. Some of these triggers are tobacco, various foods, stress, environment and some can even be your hormones.
Have you noticed that you often get a headache after consuming certain foods? For instance, chocolate, and alcohol are known to trigger headaches in some people. Vascular headaches are often caused by dietary triggers. Here’s a list of a few foods that may be causing headaches.

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Not all headaches hurt the same

While it is common knowledge that different types of headaches have their own set of symptoms and triggers, not many know that headaches have specific locations too. Tension headaches, for instance, can affect the whole head. Whereas sinus or cluster headaches affect a more specific area. If you can identify the area of your head that hurts every time you get a headache, you can use this information to work out the cause of your headache and then administer immediate relief.

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Headache after 50 years of age

Headaches in adults over the age of 50 represent a different diagnosis than in younger people. Not just that, headaches in older adults also lead to more serious consequences. Headaches caused due to underlying or comorbid conditions become more prevalent with age. Also, because the elderly tend to use multiple chronic medications, they are at an increased risk of pharmacy-induced headache.

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Myths and facts about headache

The easiest way to treat a headache is by finding the root cause of it. While doctors and researchers continue to discover more about the various types of headaches, there are still several widely-held myths about headaches. Not only do these myths mislead patients, but they also perpetuate false information about headaches.

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When should you see the doctor

Most people tend to suffer from headaches every once in a while. But when should headaches be considered a cause for concern? When you’re noticing new symptoms or your headache is more severe than usual, it is time to consult a medical practitioner. The easiest way to detect the presence of new symptoms is by knowing and recognizing your personal headache symptoms. When you are aware of what’s normal for you and what isn’t, you’ll know when to seek emergency help.

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