Unveiling the Root Causes of Headaches: Why do headaches occur?

Causes of Headaches

A headache is a painful, uncomfortable sensation mainly in the head, face, and upper neck regions. Headache is linked to the brain and the nerves (i.e. the nervous system). It is the most common illness that most people experience not only once but several times in their lifetime. A headache is when your head hurts from the inside. Hitting your head with something and causing pain is not the root cause of headaches (i.e., a headache is not a result of physical trauma).

A study says that more than half of the world’s population are victims of around 150 types of headaches. While most headaches aren’t dangerous, certain types can indicate a more serious condition like migraine or problems with blood vessels in the brain.

Avoiding Pain is possible only when you understand the cause behind it. So let’s find the cause of your headache and the home-made solutions to it.

The most common causes of headaches:

Nervous system disorders can be a root cause of headaches. As we know the nervous system is linked to different parts of the body through the nerves thus problems in any organ of the body may often lead to headaches. Organs like eyes, mouth(teeth), etc. are more deeply linked to the brain so any injuries in these organs directly lead to headaches.

Some of the most common causes of headaches are explained below :

  • Stress: The headaches caused due to stress are usually called tension headaches which are the most common type of headaches. The neck and scalp muscles contract due to stress, tension, anxiety, or depression resulting in headaches. It may occur at any age but it is more common in adults and older teens. 
  • Lack of sleep: Our brain gets time to repair itself while we sleep. Lack of sleep results in altered blood flow in the brain, hormonal imbalance, increased stress, and reduced pain thresholding capacity potentially contributing to headaches. 

    lack of sleep
    lack of sleep
  • High screen time: In this digital world where almost all of the necessary aspects of our lives from learning to earning have gone digital, many people are seen to be victims of eye and eye-related illness. Since A lot of nerves connect the eyes and the brain a disorder in the eyes directly causes pain in the brain ultimately causing headaches. Moreover, high screen time exposure results in bad posture, more exposure to blue lights, overstimulation of the brain, and dry eyes which decrease our attention and our capacity to focus on something. 

    High usage of mobile
    High Screen Time
  • Smoke and Smell: Smoke and bad smells are unhealthy in themselves. Smoke and bad smell constrict blood vessels in the brain and also cause changes in the levels of certain chemicals in the brain that can lead to headaches. Headaches due to smoke and smell are common but yet occur the persons who possess allergies to smoke and bad smells.
  • Unhealthy Eating habits: Eating a balanced diet regularly in a routine manner can result in many health benefits. In the same way, bad eating habits such as eating junk foods or an imbalanced diet, eating spicy foods eating too little or too much can also result in several health problems consequently leading to headaches, Moreover, unhealthy eating habits also include nicotine consumption, alcohol consumption, caffeine consumption etc which are highly responsible for headaches.
  • Very Bright or dim light: Very bright light like sunlight, flashlights of vehicles, etc causes our eye muscles to contract, similarly, very dim light causes our eye muscles to expand consequently causing headaches.

Other Cause: Headaches may also occur as a result of some serious illnesses like brain tumors, meningitis, strokes, traumatic brain injury, etc. In such situations, visiting a doctor for a health check-up is highly recommended.

Headache remedies:

  1. Avoid getting stressed. Yes, I know getting stressed is not a matter of choice, it is the situation that makes us stressed but yet you can stop overthinking and be involved in mind-relaxing activities to avoid stress. You can also use stress balls.
  2. Take 7-9 hours of sound sleep every day. This increases focus, attention, and productivity and keeps your body healthy.  

    8 hours of Sound Sleep
    8 hours of Sound Sleep
  3. While using a mobile phone use the 20-20-20 rule, which suggests that for every 20 minutes of screen time, you should take a 20-second break and focus on something at least 20 feet away. Similarly, use blue filters and regularly moisten your eyes while on screen.
  4. Avoid allergic smells and smoke and remember to wear a mask when going to such places.
  5. Maintain healthy eating habits, and eat fresh, unpacked food like green leafy vegetables. Also, avoid eating junk foods.
  6. Avoid staying in a very bright or dim light for a long period.   

Note: If you are facing a chronic headache(i.e. 15 or more headache episodes per month for at least three months), you are highly recommended to visit a nearby doctor.

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1. Why am I getting headaches every day all of a sudden?

Headaches may occur every day as a result of stress, bad eating habits, high screen time, or lack of sound sleep. Every day headaches may also occur as a symptom of some serious illness such as meningitis brain injury etc.

2. What is Chronic headache?

If a headache occurs 15 or more times a month for three months then it is termed a Chronic headache. It usually indicates a serious illness like a lack of blood flow in the brain, meningitis, or some brain injury.

3. When to worry about a headache?

You should worry about a headache from its early stage but most of the headaches result from some common problem that can be treated by home remedies. Thus, one should worry about a headache when it’s chronic and results in severe pain.

4. What are some common headache home remedies?

Some common headache home remedies include maintaining a clean and hygienic environment, having a sound sleep of at least 7-9 hours, maintaining healthy eating habits, reducing screen time, doing head messages, etc.

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