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Tension Headaches

Tension headaches are dull, aching headaches that occur on both sides of the head and are typically worse from eye-strain, stress, or depression. Tension headaches normally do not last more than two hours, and do not cause nausea or vomiting.

 

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 types of Tension Headaches:

1. Recurrent Tension Headaches

Tension headaches that occur with an average of once every three days. Some people may experience two bouts per month. If a person experiences only one or two attacks per month, they are likely to have Recurrent tension headaches.

2. Persistent Tension Headaches

Persistent tension headaches that occur on at least one day a week, and typically last longer than three hours each time they happen are considered Persistent tension headaches. Typically, someone who suffers from Persistent tension headaches will have them several times a week for several months before they become chronic.

3. Cluster Headaches

A cluster headache is a type of tension headache that happens in the morning and late at night. They usually begin with a dull ache, or pressure, that can be felt in or around the eye or temple area. The person experiencing a cluster headache may also experience nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light or sound.

4. Severe Tension Headaches

Severe tension headaches are a medical emergency that are characterized by severe pain that cannot be soothed with over the counter medications. These types of headaches may occur without warning, and they often cause nausea and vomiting. Severe tension headaches can cause your blood pressure to plummet so low your heart can stop beating.

Muscular Tension Headaches

Muscle tension headaches cause pain throughout the head, not just in one spot. These headaches are caused by muscles that are tightened and pulling on the tissues of the head. Muscle tension headaches also occur with other symptoms including eyelid or facial pain, redness, sensitivity to light or blurry vision. Sometimes these types of headaches can be mistaken for a stroke because they look similar to a stroke victim.

Causes:

1. Stress

Stress has been found to contribute to a large number of tension headaches. Chronic stress can cause minor muscle contractions that trigger the release of chemicals which in turn sensitize nerves innervating the eyes and muscles of the head. This causes the muscles around the eyes to tighten and thereby increasing your susceptibility to nerve overstimulation.

2. Anemia

Anemia is a condition in which there is an insufficient supply of blood in your body, resulting in lower blood oxygen levels and a deficiency of red blood cells, which are needed to deliver oxygen throughout your brain and body tissues. Anemia also causes low blood pressure, which makes it harder for blood to reach the brain.

3. Dark circles under the eyes

Dark circles are a medical term used to describe the discoloration that appears under your eyes. This usually occurs because of aging and is caused by fluid build-up in your tissues. If you suffer from dark circles, have redness or sensitivity of the skin around your temples or eyelids, or if your head feels heavier than normal, these could be signs you have anemia and should visit your doctor for tests and treatment recommendations.

Treatment:

1. See your doctor

Treatment for anemia generally includes a change in diet that includes more vegetables and fruits, and can include iron supplements. If you are anemic and have a history of migraines, you should speak with your doctor about taking a medication to prevent attacks.

2. Take pain medications

Pain medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen can mask the pain and discomfort of getting a tension headache, but they are not effective in treating them. They may also increase your risk of developing long term health problems such as stomach ulcers or heart disease. If you have an episode of severe or debilitating pain, take over the counter or prescription migraine medications instead.

3. Go to bed

Headaches are usually caused by muscle tension, which can be made worse by physical activity and exercise. To prevent your headache from getting worse, go to bed and rest your head on soft pillows. If you need to get up for some reason, turn your head slowly rather than moving it quickly from side-to-side.

Prevention:

1. Drink enough water

It is important to drink plenty of water each day, since dehydration can cause anemia, which can trigger headaches. Remember that caffeine and alcohol counts toward the daily liquid requirement for your body, so be sure to drink more than just plain water throughout the day.

2. Sleep well

A full night's sleep without interruption is a great way to prevent tension headaches. If you suffer from insomnia or difficulty sleeping, try to schedule a nap during the day to help prevent problems at night. Since stress tends to cause tension headaches, you should also get regular exercise and practice relaxation techniques in order to improve your overall mood and reduce your levels of stress in your life.

3. Reduce stress

Reducing the amount of stress in your life is a great way to prevent tension headaches from occurring. Start by taking some time each day to offer yourself a little praise. Allow yourself to sit quietly and relax so you can learn how to relax your body and mind. You can also use positive self-talk to help you relax and focus on the present, rather than worrying about the future or recalling past mistakes.

4. Get control of your emotions

Low moods tend not to be conducive to an elevated mood, which is necessary for a healthy sense of self-esteem that can help you get control over your emotions and reduce stress levels in your life. Exercises like yoga, tai chi and qi qong are great for developing self-esteem and reducing stress levels.

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