Health News

Headache Triggers

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Centra Care doctors reported an increase in the number of patients seeking relief from headaches this week.

Why the jump in numbers? Well, the increase in headaches can’t be attributed to one main cause. Here are possible reasons your head may be pounding:

Outdoor Activities – allergy sufferers beware this time of year

Posture – holding your head in one position for a long time, like at a computer, tablet or mobile device.

Alcohol – it doesn’t take a lot to set off a headache for those who are migraine-prone. Many chemicals in alcohol including sulfites and tyramine can quickly cause you pain. Alcohol can also cause dehydration, which can lead to a headache.

Colds – sinus pain and pressure can lead to an aching head.

Sleep – changes in sleep patterns, whether you’re sleeping in, or staying up late, are known to cause migraines for some. It’s important to remain on a set sleep schedule.

Stress – the upcoming holidays, report cards, the economy — whatever your stressor may be, it can quickly bring on a tension headache.

These are just some of the causes that can bring on headaches. Avoiding the trigger can prevent the headaches. You may find relief with over-the-counter medications, such as aspirin, ibuprofen or acetaminophen, as well as lifestyle changes including relaxation and exercise. For migraine sufferers, prescription medicine may be prescribed.

When to See a Doctor:

  • Your headaches wake you from sleep
  • A headache lasts more than a few days
  • Headaches are worse in the morning
  • You have a history of headaches, but they have changed in pattern or intensity
  • You have headaches frequently, and there is no known cause
  • You would describe your headache as “your worst ever” even if you are prone to headaches

Go the Emergency Room or call 911 if:

  • Your headache is associated with slurred speech, change in vision, problems moving your arms or legs, loss of balance, confusion, or memory loss
  • Your headache is accompanied by fever, stiff neck, nausea, and vomiting
  • Your headache occurs with a head injury