Headache

by Allergy Guy


A headache is a possible allergy symptom. Headaches can also be a symptom of by many other things.

In medicine a headache is a symptom of a number of different conditions of the head.

Allergy Headache Headache is caused by a disturbance of the pain-sensitive structures in the head. The brain in itself is not sensitive to pain, because it lacks nociceptors. Several areas of the head and neck have the pain-sensitive structures. The pain-sensitive structures are divided in two: within the cranium (blood vessels, meninges, and the cranial nerves) and outside the cranium (the periosteum of the skull, muscles, nerves, arteries and veins, subcutaneous tissues, eyes, ears, sinuses and mucous membranes).

There are a number of different classification systems for headaches. The most well-recognized is that of the International Headache Society. Treatment of a headache depends on the underlying etiology or cause, but commonly involves analgesics.

Symptoms and signs

Headache associated with specific symptoms may warrant urgent medical attention, particularly sudden, severe headache or sudden headache associated with a stiff neck; headaches associated with fever, convulsion, or accompanied by confusion or loss of consciousness; headaches following a blow to the head, or associated with pain in the eye or ear; persistent headache in a person with no previous history of headaches; and recurring headache in children.

Headache and the Brain

The brain in itself is not sensitive to pain, because it lacks nociceptors. However, several areas of the head and neck do have nociceptors, and can thus sense pain. These include the extracranial arteries, large veins, cranial and spinal nerves, head and neck muscles and the meninges.

Diagnosis

In 2008, the American College of Emergency Physicians updated their guidelines on the evaluation and management of adult patients who have a nontraumatic headache of acute onset.

While, statistically, headaches are most likely to be primary (harmless and self-limiting), some specific secondary headache syndromes may demand specific treatment or may be warning signals of more serious disorders. Differentiating between primary and secondary headaches can be difficult.

As it is often difficult for patients to recall the precise details regarding each headache, it is often useful for the sufferer to fill-out a “headache diary” detailing the characteristics of the headache.

Treatment

Acute headaches

Not all headaches require medical attention, and most respond with simple analgesia (painkillers) such as paracetamol/acetaminophen or members of the NSAID class (such as aspirin/acetylsalicylic acid, diclofenac or ibuprofen).

Chronic headaches

In recurrent unexplained headaches keeping a “headache diary” with entries on type of headache, associated symptoms, precipitating and aggravating factors may be helpful. This may reveal specific patterns, such as an association with medication, menstruation or absenteeism or with certain foods. It was reported in March 2007 by two separate teams of researchers that stimulating the brain with implanted electrodes appears to help ease the pain of cluster headaches.

Acupuncture has been found to be beneficial in chronic headaches of both tension type and migraine type. Whether or not there is a difference between true acupuncture and sham acupuncture however is yet to be determined.

(article source: Wikipedia)

What is your experience with allergies and headaches?
Please add your comments if you have found a connection between allergies and headaches.

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