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Headache may be sign of danger

By Vision Reporter

Added 6th September 2005 03:00 AM

HEADACHE is a very common condition. Brief and episodic headache is often a temporary inconvenience. But it can also be a symptom of a life-threatening emergency.

By Paul Semugoma

HEADACHE is a very common condition. Brief and episodic headache is often a temporary inconvenience. But it can also be a symptom of a life-threatening emergency.

A headache is a sign that a part of the head is experiencing pain. The brain has no pain nerve endings hence it does not experience pain nor does it send out these signals. It is the other non-brain parts that do so.

These are blood vessels, which travel into the brain matter; the coverings of the brain (meninges); the skull bone and muscles and tissues covering the bone. Headache can be caused by head-related structures like a bad tooth, infected sinuses, a bad ear or straining eyes.

Other causes

The commonest causes of headache include knocks on the head, hunger, thirst, dehydration from over-sweating and unusual exercise.

‘Tension’ headaches are very common. Due to work stress, they start in the afternoons, or are triggered off by stress or emotional upset. Eye strain is a common cause of headache among students, office workers or computer users. Wrong (prescription) eyeglasses can give you headache.

Symptoms

The particular association of the site of pain, duration and what you were doing and other symptoms can help pinpoint the cause.
What to do...
Tips to fight headache:
  • Treat a headache fast because the longer it lasts, the worse it becomes and the harder the control.

  • A glass of water, plus some salt if you have not eaten, offers relief.

  • Simple pain killer like Paracetamol (Panadol), Aspirin, and Ibuprofen work.

  • A wet towel on the forehead can give relief.

  • Relieve any stressor.


  • Danger signs
    It is worth knowing signs of unusual and potentially dangerous headaches including associated fever, vomiting, loss of sight or numbness of the hands or legs, or neck stiffness. A very sudden headache or the ‘worst you have ever experienced’ should prompt you to seek medication.
    The writer is a
    medical doctor

    Headache may be sign of danger

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