Headache is one of the most common conditions in Malaysia. It usually does not represent a serious illness.
It can affect any age and nearly all of us have experienced headache. Even though it might not have a serious underlying cause, it can be quite painful and distrupt your daily activities.
Causes of headache
Anything which stimulates pain receptors in the head and neck can cause headache :
- Stress (tension headache) – most common
- Eye strain and diseases
- Toothache and jaw pain
- Disease of the nose, ear and throat.
- Muscle tension.
- Head and neck injury.
- Brain infection, growth in the brain (tumour)
- High blood pressure
- Drugs and poison
Depends on the cause :
- Lie down in a dark, quiet room
- Take mild pain killers such as paracetamol or aspirin
- Try relaxation techniques and gentle massage
- Take a warm bath.
- For migraine, put an ice bag or cold towel on your forehead and alter your diet
- Coping well with your stress
- Try supportive / complementary therapy such as chiropractic and accupunture
- Treatment for specific disease.
When to see a doctor?
Serious headache is not common but should be recognized as it may be potentially life-threatening. (Red flag)
- First severe headache in person older than 40
- No improvement with pain killers
- Headache very often and severe.
- Headache differs from usual (severe and starts suddenly)
- Worse with exercise, coughing or sneezing.
- After head injury
- Neck stiffness
- Weakness and numbness
- Blurring of vision or blind.
- Headache lasting for weeks, worse at night or early morning
- Nausea, vomiting.
- Loss of appetite and loss of weight.
- Person with high blood pressure, cancer and HIV
- Cope well with stress
- Practise relaxation technique
- Balanced diet
- Regular exercise
- Stop smoking
- Practice healthy life style
- Should I get CT-Scan brain done for my headache?
Indicated for a person with ‘red flag’ presentation which suggests brain infection or tumour.
Studies shows positive CT-Scan result only in one percent of patient with headache.
- It is true most of the headache is due to growth in the brain?
Most common type of headache is tension type.
|Last Reviewed||:||28 August 2020|
|Writer||:||Dr. Jamilah Abdullah|
|Reviewer||:||Dr. Nor Faizah bt. Ghazali|