Headache Causes

Headache causes can sometimes be hard to pinpoint. A headache is pain in your head or upper neck. But what causes headaches?

Headaches are extremely common and have many causes. The pain may affect all areas of your head at once or individual areas at one time, such as the nose, temples and eyes.

Many of us have experienced headaches in our lifetimes, but only a small percentage of us will experience highly painful headaches like migraines or clusters.

Causes of headaches include:

  • The clenching of the jaw
  • poor posture
  • stress
  • allergies

As well as maintaining or working in a position which is painful.

Other headache causes include strain of the eyes such as that experienced while working at a computer, dehydration, inadequate nourishment, smoke, strong smells, loud sounds, as well as overconsumption of certain foods such as processed meats, ice cream and alcohol.

The big three when comes to headaches are: tension, migraine and cluster headaches. Other types of headaches include:

  • allergy headaches
  • hormone headaches
  • vascular headaches
  • menstrual headaches
  • caffeine headaches
  • high blood pressure headaches
  • allergy headaches
  • and child headaches

Again, the most common types of headaches are cluster, tension and migraine headaches.

Tension headaches result from psychological issues, physical ailments and fatigue.

Migraine pain occurs at the sides of the head, the front and back, and in the temples, and is often intense enough to cause light sensitivity and vomiting.

Cluster headaches are rare but painful, particularly around the eyes, and may involve migraines.

Other types include: rebound headaches, organic headaches or sinus headaches.

Organic headaches are rare but serious, as they are caused by tumors and other serious conditions of the brain like infection, hemorrhage, encephalitis and hematoma.

Sinus headaches are caused by blockages of the sinuses by conditions like infection. Additionally fevers often coincide with sinus headaches.

Rebound headaches are caused by using headache medications too often, which results in additional headaches.

The are also two broader types of headaches, primary and secondary headaches.

Secondary headaches are much more rare than primary headaches. Symptoms include stiff neck, fever, swelling of the optic nerves, resilience to treatment, as well as an unusual characteristic of the pain such as particular severity.

Secondary headaches often hurt more and are more serious because they're clearly linked to another specific underlying cause. This underlying cause may be very threatening or not threatening at all outside the pain it causes with the headache.

Primary headaches, by contrast, have no clear underlying cause. Tension, cluster and migraine headaches belong to this category.

The cause of primary headaches is unknown, particularly because so many factors such as age and family history affect the existence of headaches.

Migraines are one of the most painful forms of headaches. In general migraines are considered to relate to chemical changes in the brain and the manner on which the brain interacts with the nervous system.

Causes of migraine headaches include physical exertion, reactions to medications, hormonal changes, changes in sleeping patterns, and changes in diet as well. However headache research is far from understanding all the complexities of headaches in general, not to mention migraines.

Furthermore, for example with hormonal changes in women, the result is migraines while pregnant or during menstruation, when the flow of estrogen is affected.

Also any sensory stimuli may trigger a migraine. These stimuli may include loud sounds, bright lights or potent smells -- any stimuli of a strong capacity.

Risk factors for migraines include being female, and thus three times more likely to develop migraines; age, as most migraines develop before age 40; as well as family history -- in fact family history is linked to migraines in the majority of cases.

Headache Causes Conclusion:

There are many headache causes and it can be difficult trying to narrow them down, but once you discover what's causing your headache pain, the journey towards pain relief will have begun.

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