Possible Causes of Your Headache

Headaches are often mysterious, sneaking up on people without cause and without warning. Continue reading to discover possible causes for your headache...

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Sinusitis headache
The easiest way to rid yourself of a sinusitis headache is to simply clean up your sinuses. To distinguish a headache that is probably partly due to sinusitis from the normal headache, you can do the "bending over" test. If when you bend over you feel "something" moving in the front part of your head, then it is quite probable that what you thought was a common cold is actually sinusitis. You should visit an otorhinolaryngologist. In order to prevent the next headache crisis, you have to eliminate the sinusitis, either with antibiotics or with other procedures. A simple solution to an onset of sinusitis is to instill salt water in the nostrils.

Headache caused from the eyes
One reason we have headaches is eyestrain – we strain our optical muscles without realizing it. Our eyes become dangerously tired when we work many hours in front of the computer, or when we read a lot. Although they are most likely unaware of it, many people have defects in one or both eyes caused by deviations from the lens’ spherical curvature, defects known as astigmatism, hypermetropia, or presbyopia. Such imperfections result in severe eyestrain and subsequent headaches, most of which will only be light. More intense headaches are caused by glaucoma, a condition that dangerously increases pressure inside the eye. Headaches can also be connected to some intraocular inflammation, thus causing a discomfort around the eye and later an intense headache like a migraine. Sometimes, intense light will result in headaches. If light bothers you or if you have been reading for a long time, try turning off the light for a while and keeping your eyes open in the dark. If you are in an environment where turning off the light is impossible, simply place your palms over your eyes, keeping them open in the darkness that you have created.

Teeth grinding at night
Some people grind their teeth at night as a result of stress and anxiety. Usually these people wake up with a headache, without knowing what caused it. Once the stressful period passes, the headaches will be disappear.

Headache caused from hypertension
Hypertension and the high blood pressure that comes with it causes vascular pain in the head, similar to that of the migraine. Nevertheless, the headache is the least of the problems that hypertension can cause. You must definitely deal with it.

Headache caused from hunger
Many times the body needs food, but the stomach is not giving off hunger pains, probably because such pains have already come and gone. By this point, the headache is the body’s way of conveying that it needs food. In other words, hypoglycemia, or a deficiency of glucose in the bloodstream, is what triggers such headaches. In simply having a light snack every 3-4 hours, such headaches can be prevented.

Are you magnesium deficient?
If you avoid veal, dried nuts, avocado, or bananas, for example, then you are most likely deficient in either magnesium or vitamin C, or both. Such deficiencies cause severe headaches when magnesium circulates the body at extremely low levels. While a surplus of vitamin C could compensate for low levels of magnesium, deficiencies in both nutrients lead to headaches that are even more intense.

The role of sleeping
If you do not sleep well or if you sleep more hours that you need to (possibly because you are taking sleeping pills), then it is probable that your headaches are connected to your unnatural duration of sleep. When you simply correct your body’s sleeping habits, the headaches will disappear.

When the weather changes
It is not known why, but scientific research has shown that when the barometric pressure changes and many people suffer from pain in their joints, still more people suffer from headaches. Such a headache cannot be explained, but it is certain that it is caused from changes in the weather. If you notice that you suffer more during days with humidity, you can create an artificially dry atmosphere by turning on the heating. On the other hand, if dryness bothers you, a humidifier may help you.

Are you taking too many painkillers?
If you take painkillers and headache medication more than once a week, then it is very probable that you are already addicted. That is, your organism is addicted to painkillers and asks for them in its own way. At the beginning, you took painkillers to stop the headache, but now your head will hurt when it is deprived of the dose of painkillers that your addiction requires. If you stop taking such painkillers, you will undergo a period of even more intense headaches, but your body will be free of this crutch. If you do not stop taking them, your body will require ever-increasing amounts of painkillers and, apart from the psychological part of the addiction, you will also suffer the known side-effects of painkillers – serious problems with your liver, kidneys and other organs. If you suspect you have such a problem, you should consult a specialist.

Hormonal causes
In women, headaches can be caused by the body’s reaction to a variety of contraceptives. Similarly, the body’s menstrual cycle will cause headaches twice a month –at ovulation and menstruation. These headaches can be somewhat ameliorated with the reduction of salts, chocolates, and coffees during these two phases of the hormonal cycle.

When to consult a doctor
When –for example- your headache appears suddenly, wakes you up at night, or takes a drastic change in frequency, intensity or type, you should consult a specialist. Similarly, it is best to see a specialist when your headache is accompanied by other symptoms, like neck stiffness, or when it continues for a second or third day without responding to painkillers. Such a headache may be an indication that you have a brain tumor or a signal that your body underwent a small stroke. Likewise, such headaches can indicate that you have a ruptured aneurysm, extreme hypertension, or a serious infection, such as meningitis or herpes zoster. In order words, when experiencing such a headache, consult a doctor immediately.

Practical advice for immediate action:
- If your head hurts and you cannot pinpoint a cause, or if you know the cause but cannot avoid it, then you may take some practical measures.
- Massage your head, or ask someone to massage your back so as to "withdraw" quantities of blood from your head and "draw" them elsewhere. You can achieve the same by massaging your feet.
- Try a hot bath. Usually the steam and the temperature help the whole body to relax, while rubbing your body lightly with the sponge will restore proper circulation. This way the blood and the endorphins –natural painkillers produced by the human organism– will "run" faster
- Washing your head is even more effective than a hot bath. A headache can be quickly alleviated via the water’s lukewarm heat and a light massage.
- Try hot compresses on your forehead. Or place ice-cubes on your temples. A drastic temperature change will usually rid you of your headache.
- Take a walk for five minutes – by walking you "draw" blood from the head and relax in a mechanical way. This should improve both your mentality and your circulation.
- Open a window or try to find a cleaner atmosphere than the one you are in and breathe deeply. Usually, when you are in pain your breathing becomes more fast and shallow. If you instead force yourself to breathe deeply for a few minutes, you will reduce the pain.

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