is one of the most frequent of human discomforts. In todays life
headache is a regular feature. Most of the times a headache is more of a
nagging nuisance than an indicator of a serious problem. But, in some
cases the headache does warrant more serious attention as it can be the
indicator of some significant problem.
A variety of causes can lead to headache, like fever, injury ,anxiety,
long hours at work, lack of sleep, common cold and so on. Headache in
such cases can vary in severity from a mild discomfort to a throbbing
pain which leaves you unable to work.
The following characteristics of common headache differentiate from
other more serious type:
occurs for a limited duration ; no
other side effects like vomiting, nausea, or flashes of light.
Generally relieved with common medications like Aspirin (Disprin),
Every person getting recurrent headache fears whether he/ she has a
migraine. Following features are characteristic of a migraine headache:
Age: children , young to middle-aged adults.
Clinical features: Throbbing and / or dull ache; nausea or vomiting;
worst behind one eye or ear usually on one side of the head.
Duration: 1-2 hrs.
Patterns of occurrence: Irregular, tends to disappear in middle age,
during pregnancy and premenstrually i.e. just before the periods.
Aggravating factors: Alcohol, bright light, noise, tension.
What will help : Sleep ( that is if you can get it ), a dark room,
People having migraine often get prodromal symptoms ( features which
occur before the actual onset of headache ) like seeing flashes of
light, nausea, tingling on the face, etc. They should then immediately
take the medication prescribed by their doctor because it is easier to
control the headache before it comes on full blown rather than after it
People experiencing similar symptoms must consult their doctor to get
themselves properly evaluated and treated because migraine is not only
not relieved by common medications, it entails a profound effect on a
persons productivity and well being.
This type of headache usually affects both side of the head, though it
may sometimes be pointed to the neck or the front of the head.
A sensation of fullness or lightness in the head is common.
The characteristic feature is that, this is the only type of headache
which persists continuously throughout the day and night without any
relief in between.
Tension headache may occur under conditions of emotional crises or
It is generally, found in patients having associated depression or
When to see the doctor:
If your headache is not relieved by over the counter drugs like
Aspirin(Disprin) or Paracetamol(Calpol).
If it persists for over 2 weeks.
If it is associated with other features like nausea, vomiting, Tingling
on the face, etc.
If the pain is too severe as to be unbearable
If it occurs suddenly alongwith pain and stiffness in the neck and
feeling of weakness in a particular part of the body.