In Content, Neurology

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What is a natural cause of headaches?

People can get headaches from many causes – overwork, bad relationships, family problems, etc. Meanwhile, on the medical side, the headache comes from mixed signals between the brain,  blood vessels, and nerves within muscles and vessels around the brain, which trigger pain signals to the brain and make you feel headache and tension around the brain. Currently, physicians still do not have a clear explanation of how pain signals are triggered. However, they can trace back to the common cause of headaches which includes:


  • Illness: common illnesses such as infection, cold, and fevers can affect the conditions of blood vessels and muscles which lead to the triggering of pain signals. Illnesses in the head area like sinusitis, throat infection, or ear infection are commonly followed by headaches. Headache also occurs from blunt force injury or serious tumours which require urgent medical care.
  • Stress: stress – both emotional, or occasional; and stress-related activities including alcohol use, inadequate eating, sleep problems, and taking medications are mostly possible in triggering headaches.
  • Environment: smoke, strong smells, allergens, pollution, noise, lighting, and weather changes are also excellent triggers for headaches. Neck or back strain due to bad posture and office syndrome can be included as a precursor of headaches in adults.
  • Genetics: headache tends to be common in families, 90% of children and teens who have migraines have other family members who also suffer from them.

Types of headaches

Physicians and scientists have found more than 300 types of headaches. Meanwhile, most of them are probably rare while there are only some common types that people usually suffer from. Those of which include:   

  • Tension headaches: the most common in teens and adults, identified by mild to moderate pain which comes and goes over time and occurs without any following symptoms
  • Migraine headaches: the second most common ones, identified by pounding and throbbing pain which can last from hours to days, and can reoccur multiple times within a month. Migraine headaches also come with sensitivity to light, noise, or smells; nausea or vomiting; loss of appetite; and upset stomach or belly pain.
  • Sinus headaches: common with people with sinus problems, identified by deep and constant pain in your cheekbones, forehead, or on the bridge of your nose. Also common are sinus symptoms including runny nose, fullness in the ears, fever, and a swollen face.
  • Cluster headaches: the most severe ones, identifies by throbbing or constant burning or piercing pain behind or around the eye, followed by eyelid droops, the eye reddens, the pupil gets smaller,  the eye makes tears, and The nostril on that side runs or stuffs up. Cluster headaches can occur for months with multiple times of attacks between 15 minutes to hours within one day.
  • Post-Traumatic headaches: headaches may come following a head injury, identified by a dull ache that gets worse, vertigo, lightheadedness, trouble concentrating, and memory problems which can last for months.

Some people may suffer from less common headaches, which include:

  • Hemicrania Continua: a chronic headache that affects the same side of the head, followed by red or teary eyes, runny or stuffy nose, droopy eyelid, and contracted iris. The pain can vary in severity but escalated with physical activity or alcohol
  • Ice Pick headaches: a short, stabbing, and intense headache that lasts for a few seconds.
  • Thunderclap headaches: a severe headache that is suddenly out of nowhere, mostly caused by head injuries or strokes.
  • Hormone and menstrual headaches: headaches caused by shifting hormones
  • Rebound headaches:  headaches from the withdrawal of pain-reliefs medication, caffeine, or drug use, identified by dull and constant headaches after wake-up.
  • Exercise headaches: headaches following physical activities, identified by pulsing pain on both sides of the head, can last from 5 minutes to 48 hours.

When does a headache become dangerous?

Besides pain, most headaches are not significantly harmful. However, there are some types of headaches that are related to a much larger problem. Warning signs of a headache that needs urgent medical care are including 

  • Headaches that first develop after age 50
  • A major change in the pattern of your headaches
  • An unusually severe headache
  • Head pain that increases with coughing or movement
  • Headaches that get steadily worse
  • Changes in personality or mental function
  • Headaches that are accompanied by fever, stiff neck, confusion, decreased alertness or memory, or neurological symptoms such as visual disturbances, slurred speech, weakness, numbness, or seizures
  • Headaches that are accompanied by a painful red eye
  • Headaches that are accompanied by pain and tenderness near the temples
  • Headaches after a blow to the head
  • Headaches that disrupt normal daily activities
  • Headaches that come on abruptly, especially if they wake you up
  • Headaches in patients with cancer or impaired immune systems

If you are currently related with any conditions in the list, please contact your doctor as soon as possible for receiving detailed and proper diagnostic treatment.

What can you do when you suffer from a headache?

Drinking plenty of water, getting plenty of rest, and relaxing yourself are the easiest ways for relieving headaches. Many headaches can be completely dealt with using over-the-counter pain relievers such as Aspirin and Paracetamol, some types of headaches may need stronger medicine like Ibuprofen or NSAIDs to be effective. Avoidance of pain triggers, stress relief, and relaxation techniques are also helpful in reducing headaches. 

If Do-it-Yourself treatment is still not effective. Physicians mostly diagnosed the symptoms of a headache using historical and physical exams to find the root cause of your headache. CT scans, MRIs, and EEGs may be used in complex cases. Commonly, doctors may offer strong pain relievers, muscle relaxants, antidepressants or triptans in case of migraine headaches to relieve pain. Also, they may refer you to a specialist for the treatment of root causes, such as high blood pressure, strokes, or brain tumors. 

Dealing with headaches at Phyathai 1 International

As some headaches are chronic and cumbersome, the Neurology Center of Phyathai 1 International is ready to help you deal with your headaches. Using a combination of experienced specialists and the most advanced equipment for providing you with a diagnosis and treatment directly at the root cause of the headache varies from common ones to complicated cases including headaches as side effects from tumors or strokes.

If you think your condition has worsened, we recommend consulting with our specialist at the Neurology Center of Phyathai 1 International, which opens daily from 8 am to 8 pm. To ensure the fastest procedure time, We recommend taking a reservation by phone at number (+66)2-201-4600 ext.2688-2690 or by E-mail at [email protected]. In case of a highly severe headache, our emergency center is available with a neurology specialist to help deal with your condition. 

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