Headaches are one of the most common medical complaints; most people experience them at some point in their life. They can affect anyone regardless of age, race, and gender.
A headache can be a sign of stress or emotional distress, or it can result from a medical disorder, such as migraine or high blood pressure, anxiety, or depression. It can lead to other problems. People with chronic migraine headaches, for example, may find it hard to attend work or school regularly.
Primary headaches are stand-alone illnesses caused directly by the over activity of, or problems with, structures in the head that are pain-sensitive.
This includes the blood vessels, muscles, and nerves of the head and neck. They may also result from changes in chemical activity in the brain.
Common primary headaches include migraines, cluster headaches, and tension headaches.
Secondary headaches are symptoms that happen when another condition stimulates the pain-sensitive nerves of the head. In other words, the headache symptoms can be attributed to another cause.
A wide range of different factors can cause secondary headaches.
Eating something very cold can lead to a “brain freeze.”
• alcohol-induced hangover
• brain tumor
• blood clots
• bleeding in or around the brain
• “brain freeze,” or ice-cream headaches
• carbon monoxide poisoning
• teeth-grinding at night
• overuse of pain medication, known as rebound headaches
• panic attacks
As headaches can be a symptom of a serious condition, it is important to seek medical advice if they become more severe, regular, or persistent.