Headache, also known as cephalalgia, is the symptom of pain anywhere in the region of the head or neck. It occurs in migraines, tension-type headaches, and cluster headaches. Frequent headaches can affect relationships and employment. There is also an increased risk of depression in those with severe headaches.
Headaches can occur as a result of many conditions whether serious or not. There are a number of different classification systems for headaches. The most well-recognized system is the one specified by the International Headache Society. Causes of headaches may include fatigue, sleep deprivation, stress, the effects of medications, the effects of recreational drugs, viral infections, common colds, head injuries, rapid ingestion of very cold food/ beverages and dental/sinus problems. The type of treatments prescribed by a Las Vegas headache treatment professional depend on the underlying cause(s), but commonly involves pain medication.
Some form of a headache is one of the most commonly experienced physical discomforts, with nearly everyone having experienced one at some point in their lives and about half of adults have a headache in any given year. Tension headaches are the most common, affecting about 1.6 billion people (21.8% of the population) followed by migraine headaches, which affect about 848 million (11.7%).
Symptoms and Diagnosis
While the symptoms associated with a headache will vary, depending on the headache type, the most common variety is characterized by a dull and achy pain that results from a tension-type headache:
- The person may experience a painful pressure or dull ache that forms a bad of discomfort around the head.
- Both sides of the head will experience the mild-moderate pain.
- Precursors to the pain include; stress, inadequate food consumption, neck strain, heightened anxiety or stress and insufficient rest/sleep.
- The frequency of occurrence can vary significantly from occasional to continuous (chronic).
- The headache can last for a half hour or up to a week in duration.
More severe types of headache that are treated by Las Vegas headache treatment professionals can include migraine headaches, which are characterized by:
- Fainting spells and/or light-headedness/dizziness
- Blurring of vision
- Light and noise sensitivity
- Severe pain that pulses or throbs
- Pain can occur on one or both sides of the head
Mild to moderate tension headaches can be treated with medications that are available over the counter, which include:
- Acetaminophen (ex. – Tylenol)
- Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, etc.)
Severe/migraine headaches may be treated with:
- A quiet rest taken in a darkened room
- A caffeinated beverage
- Over-the-counter pain medications (see above)
- Prescription medications: (Imitrex) and zolmitriptan (Zomig)
- Headache prevention medication: topiramate (Topamax), divalproex sodium (Depakote, Depakote ER or Depakote Sprinkle), metoprolol tartrate (Metoprolol, Lopressor), propranolol (Propranolol HCL) or amitriptyline
In addition, alternative therapies may help. They include:
- Heat – in the form of warm compresses and showers
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Training (Relaxation)
When determining the headache treatment that is right for you, you will want to seek advice from your doctor and a qualified Las Vegas alternative medical practitioner. This way, you will have access to the sufficient amount of information that you’ll need in order to make an informed decision.