National Headache Awareness Week: What Causes Headaches?

Homecare in Papillion NE: National Headache Awareness Week: What Causes Headaches?

No doubt your parent has suffered a headache at some point in their life. A headache is any pain in the head. A headache can affect just one side of the head, both sides, and can even be in just one specific spot on the head. The type of pain can vary, too. It might be throbbing, stabbing, or a constant ache. While headaches are pretty common, some people experience them more frequently than others and sometimes the pain can turn an otherwise good day upside down. If your parent suffers from headaches, knowing about the different headaches, what causes them, and what can be done to alleviate pain could help.

Types of Headaches

There are lots of different kinds of headaches. Some of the most common types are:

  • Migraines: A migraine headache generally occurs on just one side of the head. The pain is sometimes described as throbbing and might be accompanied by nausea, a light-headed feeling, or blurry vision. Sometimes people experience auras at the start of a migraine. Migraines can span a few hours or even a few days.
  • Cluster Headaches: Cluster headaches come on suddenly and happen between once per day and up to eight times per day over a span of weeks to months. Between cluster headache periods there are usually no symptoms at all. Cluster headache pain is described as severe pain on one side of the head that is usually very sharp. It often occurs around one eye.
  • Tension Headaches: The most commonly experienced type of headache is the tension headache. This kind of headache comes on gradually and usually in the middle of the day. The pain feels like a band wrapped around the head or a constant, dull aching feeling. Sometimes the pain spreads into or up from the neck.

Headache Causes

The cause of a headache depends on the type of headache. Doctors generally separate headaches into two categories: primary and secondary. Primary headaches are those that are not symptoms of another condition. They are caused by a problem with a pain-sensing part of the head. They may be a result of chemicals in the brain, head and neck muscles, or nerves around the skull. Secondary headaches are symptoms of another underlying condition, such as sinus problems, ear infection, or the flu. They may also be symptoms of more serious conditions like brain tumors, blood clots, or high blood pressure.

Home Care Providers Can Help

If your parent experiences headaches, a home care provider can help them to relieve headache pain using self-care techniques. Sometimes a hot shower can help. A home care provider can assist your parent with showering if there is concern that they may fall. Warm or cool packs can also help with headache pain. A home care provider can prepare the pack and help your parent to apply it. Eating regular meals so that blood sugar levels remain constant can prevent headaches. A home care provider can help your parent to prepare and eat healthy meals on a regular schedule.


If you or an aging loved one are considering homecare in Papillion, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.

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