Tips for Parents
Why You & Your Student May Suffer — and What You Can Do about It
Many of us suffer from headaches, whether they're caused by stress, dehydration or other factors.
Who knew there were so many different types of headaches? Each comes with various symptoms and treatments (always check with your doctor first!), according to the National Headache Foundation (NHF). They include:
Tension-type Headaches. These often result from temporary stress, anxiety, fatigue or anger. They begin in your forehead, temples or the back of your head and neck. You may feel a "vise-like" ache akin to a tightening band around your head, contracting head and neck muscles, a pulling feeling, soreness in your temples and pressure sensations.
"Treatment for tension-type headache may include over-the-counter or prescription medications, as well as self-help techniques such as relaxation training and biofeedback," according to the NHF.
Cluster Headaches. These headaches, thought to be caused by chemical reactions in the brain, have been described as the most severe and intense types. Attacks typically come in groups, with the pain arriving with little to no warning. This pain is often on one side of the head and may be accompanied by a tearing or bloodshot eye and runny nose on the "headache side" of your head.
"Treatment for cluster headache includes prescription medication and oxygen," according to the NHF.
Sinus Headaches. Sometimes the sinus becomes inflamed at the hands of an infection, a tumor or an allergic reaction. As a result there will be a localized pain. Headaches caused by true sinus blockages may also result in a fever.
"Treatment might include antibiotics for the infection, as well as antihistamines or decongestants," according to the NHF.
Rebound Headaches. These are caused by taking acute headache medications more than two days per week or by taking more than the label or your doctor advises. As a result, the meds stop relieving pain and may begin to cause your headaches. Regularly overusing a medication can increase headache suffers' potential for serious side effects.
"Consult a physician if you regularly use headache medications more than two days per week or more than the label advises," advises the NHF.
Migraines. These are characterized by a dull ache that develops into constant, throbbing, pulsating pain felt at the temples, and the front and back of one or both sides of your head. About 15% of migraine sufferers experience an aura (wavy, jagged lines, dots, flashing lights; tunnel vision or blind spots in one or both eyes; numbness; visual or auditory hallucinations and disruptions in smell, taste or touch; difficulty recalling or speaking the correct words, or a "pins and needles" sensation) before an attack, while regular sufferers experience a combo of nausea, sensitivity to light and noise, and vomiting. Chemical reactions in the brain are thought to cause migraines.
"Treatment for migraine may include over-the-counter or prescription medications, as well as self-help techniques such as relaxation training and biofeedback," according to the NHF.
Headaches in Children
Learn more about children's headaches.
Call the Doctor
According to the National Headache Foundation, you should consult your healthcare provider if your headache...
- Is sudden and severe
- Occurs with fever, stiff neck or uncontrollable vomiting
- Causes confusion or loss of consciousness
- Is persistent, when previously you've been headache free
- Is accompanied by numbness, weakness or vision loss
- Begins after the age of 50 years
- Begins after head injury or other trauma
- Interferes with your ability to function normally at work or in social situations
- Requires medication more than two days per week
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