If you’ve ever experienced a headache in Middletown, you can probably attest to the fact that suffering from one can result in lost time at work, home and even in social settings. While most people with headaches can feel much better by making simple lifestyle changes and learning ways to relax, sometimes, a trip to Urgent Care is necessary to further investigate the root of the problem. The first step in managing headache is to determine what type the headache is causing the pain.
In 2013, the International Headache Society released its latest classification system for headaches:
- Cranial neuralgias, central and primary facial pain and other headaches.
Primary headaches account for about 90% of all headaches and are not associated with other diseases, for example migraine headaches, tension headaches and cluster headaches.
What is a migraine? Migraines are a chronic and episodic disorder, characterized by headache attacks. Migraines are very common and affect nearly 12% of people in the US 12 years and older. They are more common in women (17% vs 6% in men). Associated symptoms include:
- Recurrent headaches lasting 4-72 hours
- One-sided, pulsating, moderate-to-severe pain
- Decreased ability to function in everyday situations
Often, associated symptoms such as nausea and sensitivity to light and sound are also present during an attack. Other symptoms include sweating, cold hands, diarrhea, pale skin color and scalp tenderness.
Tension headaches are the most common type of headache likely caused by tight muscles in your shoulders, neck, scalp and jaw. Symptoms may be related to stress, depression, anxiety, a head injury or holding your head in an awkward position. They often start at the back of the head and spread forward with dull-like or squeezing pain.
Home remedies for tension headaches include rest and over-the-counter (OTC) medications for pain.
A cluster headache tends to be sharp and very painful that can occur daily, sometimes several times a day for months. The headaches usually last less than an hour and tend to occur around the same time each day. Symptoms are due to swelling in the sinus passage behind the cheeks, nose and eyes and tend to worsen first thing in the morning or when the individual bends forward. They may also occur with a fever, cold or flu or premenstrual syndromes.
Secondary headaches are usually a symptom of an injury or an underlying illness. These headaches may be related to allergies, caffeine withdrawal, hunger or sinus headaches due to increased pressure or infection in the sinuses. Additionally, an associated disease, sometimes life threatening conditions such as brain tumors, strokes, and meningitis or less, can cause secondary headaches.
Cranial Neuralgias, Central and Primary Facial Pain and Other Headaches
Other types of headaches include: cranial neuralgias, central and primary facial pain and other types of neuralgias. Neuralgia means relating to the nerves. Headaches and facial pain can be very complex, with many interrelated causes. If you or a loved one has suffered a new onset headaches or if headaches are associated with fever, stiff neck, weakness or change in sensation on one side of the body, change in vision, vomiting or change in behavior, seek medical care immediately.
Treating Headaches at Middletown eMedical Urgent Care
If you or a loved one experience constant headaches, it is a good idea to see a doctor. It can be difficult to determine what triggers your headache; we want to help you find relief. Prepare for your visit by keeping a headache diary so you can discuss your specific symptoms. Include information such as: how many days in the month you’ve had a headache, how long they last, what made it stop, if you’ve changed your diet or habits recently, sleep schedule, how the headaches are impacting your daily life and if you are taking any medications. Talk with your eMedical Urgent Care doctor about what sets off your headaches in Middletown to help find the right treatment for you. Call to learn more about our services in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, (908) 464-6700, and Middletown, New Jersey, (732) 957-0707.