Why tolerate a bad headache?

We talk about headaches, migraines and how we can help you.

August 3, 2020


Putting up with a constant headache doesn’t have to be part of your daily life. Whether your headaches cause a little pain or a lot, they’re usually set off by a trigger. And that means there’s probably a solution.

Headaches can be caused by many factors, such as: 

  • Lifestyle
  • Environment, or the area and spaces you live and work in  

It can be hard to identify triggers on your own, however. That’s where your doctor comes in. He or she can help find out what’s causing your headaches and create a treatment plan that allows you to go about your daily life.

Common headache triggers

There are many possible headache causes:

  • Stress — changes in cortisol and adrenaline
  • Hormones — fluctuating hormones, especially around a woman’s menstrual period
  • Temperature changes — shifts in humidity, altitude and winds
  • Lack of sleep — lower levels of serotonin, often associated with insomnia, can trigger the trigeminal nerve, causing migraines and swelling
  • Exposure to light — bright lights and sun can affect a nerve in the head and cause pain

What can help with headaches?

To lower your stress level, try practicing mindfulness, which can help with managing ongoing pain. Getting better sleep can also help with some headaches. 

Types of headaches

There are multiple types of headaches, such as:

Tension headache
This type of headache includes constant pain around the forehead or the back of the head. Pain and tenderness can also be felt around the scalp or shoulder muscles.

Sinus headache
With this kind of headache, your sinus cavities are swollen. Pain and pressure can be felt around your nose, eyes, forehead and cheeks. Sometimes the signs and symptoms of a sinus headache can feel like a migraine. 

Migraine headache
This type of headache can last anywhere from an hour to 72 hours and can include severe pain, often on one side of the head. Sometimes the pain can shift to the face and sinuses.

When should you see a doctor?

Signs you should see a doctor include:

  • Your headaches are happening more often.
  • Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs don't improve your pain.
  • Your headaches are disrupting daily life, such as your work, sleep or play.

What kind of doctor should you see?

First, share your symptoms with your primary care physician. They may refer you to a neurologist. A neurologist is a doctor who specializes in care for the brain and nerves. A neurologist can help you by creating a treatment plan for your headaches.

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The information provided is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be medical advice or a substitute for professional health care. You should consult an appropriate health care professional for your specific needs.