Most Common Physical Problems: Headaches Essay

923 words - 4 pages

Headaches are unfortunately one of the most common physical problems that humans experience. Approximately 90% of adults in the United States have a headache each year. Primary headaches are not related to a serious pathology; however, secondary headaches are. Most headaches belong to one of four categories. The categories include: Tension-type headaches, vascular headaches, Chemical headaches, and Traction inflammatory headaches.
Tension-type headaches are the most common type of headache that people experience. Tension headaches affect everyone at some point in there life; they are triggered by mechanical stresses that start the Central Nervous Symptom changes in serotonin levels and begin the process of the blood vessel dilation. Some symptoms include pressing, tightening, and light sensitivity. Nausea is not followed with this type of headache and this headache is not aggravated by physical activity. The pain level ranges from mild to moderate and this headache can last anywhere from 30 minutes to 7 days. Treatment of this headache depends on if the headache is chronic or primary. Chronic headaches can be treated with antidepressants and primary headaches can be treated with over the counter medications or Ibuprofen.
Vascular headaches include migraines, cluster headaches, and possibly sinus headaches. These headaches are often triggered by food sensitivities, hormonal shifts, alcohol use, stress, or other factors that are difficult to identify. These headaches are characterized by pain that throbs with the patient’s pulse. Migraines are less common then tension headaches; however, about 28 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with migraines. They are found to be more common in women and affect about five to ten percent of children. Symptoms include throbbing, nausea or vomiting, vision and sound sensitivity. Migraines are also aggravated by physical activity such as walking up the stairs. The pain level ranges from moderate to severe and can last four to seventy two hours. Treatment of this headache includes medicine and a dark, quiet place.
Cluster headaches are rare; they affect men more than woman and currently only affects one percent of the United States population. It is more common for cluster headaches to begin during the night with pain severe enough to wake a person up from sleep. These headaches are the worst types of headaches and referred as “suicide headaches.” The pain has been described and documented as worse than childbirth. Symptoms include throbbing, (often around the eye) facial swelling, unilateral sweating, runny nose, and drooping eyelids. These attacks can last thirty minutes to three hours and a person may experience one to four headaches every day for 4 to 8 weeks. The only treatment available includes a prescription from a doctor; unfortunately, lying down can increase pain along with physical activity.
Whether sinus headaches are caused by a sinus infection or allergies they are...

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