National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month
June is National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month. The annual observance allows us to raise awareness about one of the most common nervous system disorders, headaches.
Severe headache disorders are concerning because, when left untreated, they can lead to depression, isolation, and self-medication.
Let’s explore the different types of headaches, symptoms, causes, and when to seek emergency care.
At Supreme Care ER the finest emergency room in Cypress Texas near Jersey Village, we’re happy to provide you with the emergency care that you need in the event of a medical emergency.
What are Headaches?
As the name suggests, headaches refer to pain experienced on the head or face. The pain we feel doesn’t come from brain tissue, as the brain has no pain receptors. Instead, the pain stems from inflammation of various structures in your head, such as:
- Nerves located in the head and neck
- Arteries and other blood vessels that lead to the brain
- Muscles of the head
- Sinuses – air-filled hollows in your skull surrounding the nasal cavity
What Causes Headaches?
There isn’t one single cause for headaches. Unfortunately, anything that stimulates the pain receptors in your head or neck can result in a headache, including:
- Muscular tension
- Eye problems
- Dental or jaw problems
- Hormonal imbalances
- High blood pressure
- Dietary susceptibilities
- Extreme temperatures, both hot and cold
- Injury to the head, neck, or spine
- Dilated blood vessels
- Lack of sleep
Types of Headaches
There are many types of headaches, but the most common are:
- Tension headaches
- Sinus headaches
- Cluster headaches
Tension headaches happen when the scalp and neck muscles tense and contract and are among the most common headaches in adults and teens.
Stress, head injury, incorrect posture, depression, or anxiety can cause muscle tension in the head area, resulting in mild to moderate pain.
Tension Headache Symptoms
- Pain on both sides of your head, neck, or face
- Feeling as if something is pressing on your head
- The area feels tender to the touch
Your sinuses are air-filled cavities inside your forehead, behind the bridge of your nose, and cheekbones that can become swollen due to allergies, a cold, flu, or an infection.
The inflammation causes an increase in mucus production and blocks the channels that drain your sinuses. As a result, pressure builds up, causing a sinus headache.
In some cases, what feels like a sinus headache is, in fact, a migraine with nasal symptoms.
Sinus Headache Symptoms
- Deep and constant pain in your forehead, cheekbones, or the bridge of your nose
- A dull ache behind your eyes
- Pain worsens when you move your head suddenly, bend forward, or lie down
- Stuffy or runny nose
- A feeling of fullness or pressure in your ears
- Thick, colored mucus discharge
- Swollen or puffy face
- Pain in the upper teeth
Cluster headaches are less common but produce severe pain and tend to occur in groups or clusters that recur at similar times.
Cluster headache attacks last between 1 to 3 hours on average with varying frequency. Some patients experience an episode every other day; others may have multiple daily headaches. However, after a cluster period, patients enter remission that may last months or even years.
Cluster Headache Symptoms
- Sudden onset of pain around or behind an eye
- Pain reaches its maximum level within 10-15 minutes
- Restlessness or agitation
- Irritated or watering eyes
- Eyelid swelling or drooping
- Nasal congestion
- Sweating on the forehead
Because symptoms of a cluster headache can resemble those of other severe conditions, you should always seek medical attention to receive a proper diagnosis.
A migraine is a neurological disorder resulting in debilitating throbbing pain with episodes lasting for days.
Because migraines affect nerve pathways and certain chemicals in the brain, they often come with a range of symptoms, including nausea, numbness and tingling, visual disturbances, temporary loss of vision, irritability, sensitivity to light and sound, and difficulty speaking.
Migraine Headache Symptoms
Not everyone will experience the same symptoms, but common signs of a migraine include:
- Severe throbbing or dull aching pain on one or both sides of your head
- Pain worsens with physical activity
- Vision changes, including blurred vision, wavy lines, and flashes of light
- Sensitivity to light, noise, and smells
- Nausea or vomiting
- Stuffy nose
- Stiff or tender neck
- A tender scalp
When to Seek Emergency Care for Headaches
Mild headaches respond well to over-the-counter medications and don’t usually require medical attention. However, you should see your doctor if you experience recurring headaches.
Please seek emergency care if you experience a moderate to severe headache accompanied by any of the following symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Muscular weakness
- Stiff neck
- Persistent nausea or vomiting
- Loss of consciousness
- Vision changes
- Headache following a head or neck trauma
- Moderate to severe headache that doesn’t improve with your usual medication
At Supreme Care ER, we understand how painful and disrupting severe headaches can be. Our facility has top-of-the-line imaging and other diagnostic technology to help us identify the type of headache you are experiencing so we can provide the best care.
At Supreme Care ER in Houston, the finest emergency room in Cypress, Texas, we’re happy to provide you with the emergency care you need in the event of a medical emergency. We are conveniently located at 9530 Jones Road, Houston, Texas, 77065. We’re fast and remain open 24 hours year-round.