Stop popping pills! What is causing your headaches

  • By Sahana Rajan

Types of Headache:
Most of the headaches can be categorized into one of the following classifications: A primary headache is a headache which is, in itself, an illness and not a symptom of another health issue, while a secondary headache is a sign of another illness.

Primary headaches are generally of three kinds: tension headaches, migraines, and cluster headaches.

Primary headaches :
Tension headaches are most common and are caused by stress, alcohol consumption, depression, dehydration, inadequate sleep, and irregular meals. The sensation of a tension headache is the presence of a weak ache around the front of the head which constantly recurs. The top and sides of the head are also affected.

A migraine is more severe in nature - such that the pain caused could interfere with your normal routine. Generally affecting one or both the sides of your head, migraines are experienced with thumping or pulsating pain.

Cluster headaches are concentrated on the eye area and are intensely painful. They are atypical and are named ‘cluster’ as they occur in clusters extending over a period of a month or two at the same time every year.

Migraine and cluster headaches might require medical help while tension headaches can be easily resolved using non-medicinal methods.

Secondary headaches :
These headaches are caused due to high consumption of alcohol, post-injury on the head, or concussion. The headache could also be related to an allergy, cold and flu, or sinusitis. In some women, headache generally accompanies menstrual cycles or could happen during pregnancy as well.

Non-Medicinal Remedies for Headache -

One of the major causes of headache is the consumption of inadequate water which results in lower oxygen supply to the brain. Drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water every day and more during the times you consume alcohol. Lavender oil is well-known for its soothing effects. Buy a lavender essential oil and put three drops of the oil onto a bowl of hot water. Place your face over the bowl and cover the head. Let the lavender steam relax you. You could also apply a few drops of the oil on your forehead to inhale the smell. Rosemary oil, containing properties that heal inflammation, is a common ingredient of stress-relieving herbal tea. You could also drop in sage (Salvia officinalis) to strengthen the tea. Clove, cinnamon, ginger, basil oil, and peppermint are other well-known home remedies which help in reducing headache. Acupuncture and transcranial magnetic stimulation are other non-medical alternative methods of healing your headache.

Apart from these, make sure that you keep stress and tension away from your daily life by "buying" out time for yourself - go for a walk, listen to music that you like, get at least 8 hours of sleep, enjoy your meals, and most importantly, share your love and affection with your family, get a pet companion, join a voluntary organization related to that you are passionate about, brush up your talents and pursue your hobbies.