Headache Types: Each year the first full week of June is National Headache Awareness Week.
This year it runs from June 6-12. Created by the National Headache Foundation, its purpose is to highlight the pain and suffering many people have from what is often referred to as “just a headache.” The goal of this week is to highlight the headache types, the pain, and suffering that many people battle, and to create an awareness that will help find a cure for headaches once and for all.
According to WebMD, there are more than 150 headache types and if your parent is one who suffers from consistent headache pain, she may be very aware of the way a headache can interfere with everyday life. She may find she misses important moments or doesn’t enjoy them as fully as she’d like. Your parent may have to have someone like yourself or a home care provider help with chores and tasks when the headaches are at their worst. There are several headaches that are considered the most common.
Usually having no other physical side effects, tension headaches are the most common type of headache people suffer from. They come and go without any type of schedule and while painful, they usually don’t cause a person to need to completely shut down and turn off the world.
On the opposite end of the spectrum for headaches are migraine headaches. They can last for four hours or up to three days and are described as pounding and throbbing. If your parent suffers from migraines, she most likely has them several times a month and those are the times when having a home care provider help with everyday chores such as walking the dog or taking out the garbage can be a huge blessing. Migraines can be so painful that they also produce other symptoms such as vomiting, light and sound sensitivity, and exhaustion.
Caused by an inflammation of the sinuses, someone who has sinus headaches feels a constant pain in the cheekbones, forehead, and bridge of the nose. The pain is usually accompanied by other sinus-related issues such as a runny nose, clogged ears, or a fever. It’s not uncommon for a sinus infection to also be present when suffering from a sinus headache.
On a pain level, these headaches are often the most severe. A piercing pain takes place behind the eye that is so powerful, sufferers pace around during an attack unable to sit. They’re called cluster headaches because they occur often in a short time period. A person with cluster headaches may get them 1-3 times a day during a two-week period and then not have any again until another cluster attack.
Chronic Daily Headaches
Those diagnosed with chronic headaches suffer from any of the above headaches for 15 or more days a month. They can be short-lived (less than an hour-long) or they can last for up to four hours. Depending on what type of headache it is, they will wreak havoc on daily plans and even make the sufferer leery of going certain places or enjoying certain activities in fear of having an attack.
The good news is that most headache types have some type of treatment option that can eliminate the headache completely, or at least reduce its strength. If your parent suffers from headaches, use the National Headache Awareness Week to help her find the best way to treat it so she can continue to enjoy life.
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