HEADACHE

Everyone at some point has experienced headache. In fact, some are experiencing it at the
moment. This by any means does not exclude children. Broadly speaking, there are two classes of headache; Primary and Secondary.
The cause of headache is said to be primary when cause is unknown. The type of headache under this categories are:
Tension headache
Migraine
Cluster headache.
Headache caused by disease is called secondary headache.

TENSION HEADACHE
It is the commonest type if headache and is usually related to mental stress or worry. It is often felt at the back of the head, from where it may spread down the neck or even to the front of the head.


VASCULAR HEADACHE
This headache type is caused by dilatation of the blood vessels in the head. It is usually seen in infection e.g. typhoid, malaria; ingestion of alcohol, use of some antihypertensive(vasodilators).
Vascular headaches are usually throbbing in character.


REFERRED HEADACHE

This type of headache may arise from infection of the surrounding organ or structure in the head like-eye, teeth, neck muscle, sinuses, ear. Headache from the sinuses occurs over the eyes and front part of the head. The one from the eyes is worse with reading.


HEADACHE FROM SUBARACHNOID HEAMORRHAGE
When patient have his type of headache, they describe as sudden blow at the back of the neck. Patient may also feel like vomiting and experience neck stiffness.


CLUSTER HEADACHE
This type of headache often occurs at night but may sometimes occur during the day at almost particular time of the day. This is why they are called Alarm Clock Headache.
The headache is stabbing.I t may be accompanied by redness of eyes and profuse watering of the eye. Patient can experience this for as long as 4-16 weeks.
Treatment often include:
Avoidance of alcohol
If you are on any drug that make your symptoms worse, discuss with your doctor for possible alternatives.
Use of ergotamine
Use of intranasal Oxygen
Use of sumatriptan
Verapamil can be used – to prevent attack.

HEADACHE DUE TO RAISED INTRACRANIAL PRESSURE
This type of headache lasts for seconds to a few hour. The headache is made worse by coughing, straining at stool, bending down or after a sudden change in position. The headache is often associated with vomiting which may occur at night or in the early morning when the headache is severe.
Medical condition that can cause this type of headache are; intracranial tumours, brain abscess heamatoma etc.

HEADACHE DUE TO HYPERTENSION
Usually, headache does not occur in hypertension unless it is becoming complicated. Therefore, headache in a known hypertensive patient should be taken very seriously by consulting your doctor.

MIGRAINE
We’ll write about this type of headache later this month.


FINAL NOTE

Dear readers, as you all can see that headache is a broad entity that we can’t even talk about everything at once, hence, I advise that you don’t delay presentation in the hospital when headache is becoming too often.

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