What to Do About Frequent Headaches

Experiencing frequent headaches can take a great toll on a person’s life. For instance, even minor headaches can be a distraction that lowers your ability to function on a day-to-day basis. More severe headaches may entirely immobilize you for hours or days at a time. Obviously, if headaches of this magnitude occur consistently, the lapses that they cause in your work and even in your social life can be frustrating, and put your job or relationships at risk.

In addition to the pain itself, frequent headaches can have a profound psychological effect on a person. There may be reactions of fear for a number of reasons, such as fearing that there is a deeper problem that these headaches are symptomatic of. Even the times when you have no headache at all may be ruined by fear of the next headache. Furthermore, the continued persistence of headaches can wear you down, and feelings of depression may result. In extreme cases, the inescapable nature of the pain may even cause a person to contemplate suicide.

These frequent headaches are obviously a problem that must be dealt with. The trick with headaches, though, is that it can sometimes be rather difficult to figure out what type of headache you are having, as each type of headache may have different causes and different treatments. As such, the first thing you should do is to nail down what type of headache you are experiencing. To accomplish this, you should look at the headache itself, as well as the circumstances surrounding it.

The best way to get a handle on what might be causing frequent headaches is to keep a headache diary of sorts. This can be a simple notebook, a daily planner, or whatever system works best for you. Whenever you experience a headache, write down in your planner the date, the time the headache begins, and the time it ends. You should also write down characteristics of the headache, for instance the intensity and location of the pain, and whether or not things around you such as bright lights or loud sounds seemed to affect the pain. Also, take note of circumstances that might be triggers for your headaches, such as stressful situations, or the consumption of alcohol.

Over time, your headache diary will allow you to get an idea of what is causing your headaches, or at least what type of headache you are having. Most frequent headaches are tension headaches, which are usually triggered by every day sorts of situations, such as increased stress or strain on the eyes. The pain from these headaches is usually mild, and easily treated. If the pain of your headaches is sharper, and the circumstances of your headaches do not match a tension headache, you may be having migraine headaches. These two have triggers that you can look out for to determine the cause. A small percentage of frequent headaches are what are called cluster headaches, and some cases are caused by other problems, such as neurological problems in the brain. In either of these cases, or if you are unable to control the pain of a migraine or tension headache, a doctor should be consulted.

Copyright © Jared Winston, 2006. All Rights Reserved.