Frequent Headaches? Immediately Recognize the Health Risks Behind It

Everyone must have experienced headaches. Pain in this part of the head is one of the most common health problems experienced by many people. But don't underestimate headaches if this pain comes very often and interferes with your activities. You need to know that nowadays, headaches are the most common complaints that cause sufferers to come to a neurologist or general practitioner

How are headaches classified?

Headaches are generally divided into primary and secondary headaches. Usually many of us experience primary headaches with mild symptoms such as migraines which are caused by muscle contractions and cluster headaches (pain on one side). Meanwhile, secondary headaches are usually associated with underlying pathological conditions, including all headaches caused by infections, tumors, blood vessel disorders, drug use, or those of idiopathic origin (unknown cause). Usually secondary headaches are serious illnesses that can even kill the sufferer.

What things can cause headaches?

In essence, headache is a complaint with a variety of causes, both intracranial and extracranial. And usually almost all types of diseases can start from headaches, ranging from influenza to cancer. Therefore, this disturbance should not be underestimated. Headache is a signal from the body to an event that is not good. And these signals need to be responded properly and correctly.

For headache sufferers, you should be aware of:

  1. Pain quality
  2. The nature of the pain (throbbing, heaviness, etc.)
  3. Attack form (continuous/periodic)
  4. Location of pain
  5. Duration of pain (Duration of pain)
  6. Time of onset of pain (onset)
  7. Conditions that aggravate and reduce pain

Usually a neurologist can determine the cause of headaches from the patient's medical history (blood pressure, smoking, weight such as obesity, or a history of previous illnesses, as well as from the results of a physical examination and neurological examination. If the symptoms of headache are considered unusual, additional examinations such as a CT scan or MRI of the head, sometimes needed.

What are the signs of a serious headache?

It has been explained above that the nature of secondary headaches is more dangerous. The following are signs/alarm headaches that you need to watch out for:

  1. Different/new headaches
  2. "Thunderclap" headache (high intensity lasts seconds to minutes)
  3. Experiencing the most severe headache ever felt
  4. Focal neurological signs and symptoms such as motor weakness, memory loss, behavioral changes
  5. Changes in the pattern of headaches that are felt
  6. Headaches that arise after the age of 50 years
  7. Headache associated with systemic symptoms (fever, weight loss)
  8. Triggered by lifting objects or coughing
  9. Disturbs sleep or appears immediately after awakening from sleep
  10. Vomiting along with headaches

Although at first glance the presence of a headache is normal, if the headache comes too often or feels too painful then you need to be more vigilant. You can consult and ask about your headache complaints from a neurologist if you already feel pain that you feel is unusual. Do not let you regret because the treatment is done too late

This article was written by dr. Daniel T Suryadisastra, Sp.S, RPSGT (Neurologist at EMC Alam Sutera Hospital).