Dr Jalil Khan Announces Headache Relief
Headaches are a common occurrence - over 90% of people worldwide will be affected by a headache at some point in their lives. A headache, however, can be more than just an annoyance, states Dr. Jalil Khan, MD; it can also be a symptom of some other medical problem. As with any persistent pain in the body, if a headache lasts more than three days, individuals need to consult their doctor.
Headaches are divided into two classifications, primary and secondary. Primary headaches are those that are not caused by a separate medical condition, and include tension headaches, cluster headaches, and migraines. Tension headaches, the most common type of headache, are caused when physical or emotional stress contracts the muscles of the skull or upper neck. Tension headaches are generally treated with over the counter medications, such as aspirin or ibuprofen, states Dr. Khan, but can also benefit from techniques to manage the underlying stressor that triggers the headache.
Migraine and cluster headaches, according to Dr. Jalil Khan, are caused by inflammation of the blood vessels in the skull. Cluster headaches occur in groups, two to three times daily, for weeks or months at a time. Each episode lasts from 30 to 90 minutes, and generally occurs around the same time daily. The pain of a cluster headache usually occurs only on one side of the head, around and radiating from the eye. The pain is severe, generally described as piercing or burning. Cluster headaches do not respond to over the counter medications, and are usually treated with prescription medications such as triptans, that constrict blood vessels to reduce inflammation.
Migraine headaches cause moderate to severe pain; other symptoms can include sensitivity to light and/or sound, blurred vision and/or flashing light, nausea, dizziness, and fatigue. Mild migraines can be treated with over the counter medications, while moderate to severe migraines may require prescription medication such as triptans. Avoiding common migraine triggers, such as lack of sleep, skipping meals, trigger foods that tend to bring on this condition in the person, cigarette smoke (even second hand smoke), alcohol, and stress, may help to prevent the onset of a migraine. Those who suffer frequent and severe migraines may benefit from a prophylactic medication to help prevent a migraine.
Dr. Jalil Khan, MD recommends daily exercise to regulate stress and aid in deeper and more restful sleep, as well as keeping a headache journal to help identify specific triggers. Dr. Khan said: "If you will keep your journal with you and write down all possible triggers as you feel the pain coming on, it is a simple matter to design a plan to avoid those conditions in the future. I understand that when you are in pain that the last thing you want to do is make notes, but it is really important to record as many possible triggers that happened, just before the episode.”
“Secondary headaches are a symptom of another medical disorder, and can only be treated by treating the underlying cause. There are a multitude of conditions that can cause headaches, ranging from a sinus infection to meningitis. This is why it is essential to seek medical care for a headache that lasts for longer than three days, or doesn’t respond to over the counter medications,” says Dr. Khan.
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- Dr. Jalil Khan, MD
- Managing Physician
- Pri-Med Care
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