Symptoms of Tension Headache
Tension headache affects almost 80 to 90% of adult population. Though the pain is not as severe as in migraine, it gives a feeling of being unwell.
Signs and symptoms of a tension headache include -
- Mild pain is experienced on either or both the sides of the forehead.
- Pain behind the neck , at the base of the skull.
- Lack of concentration
- Loss of appetite
- Mild dizziness
- Blurred vision
A tension headache could be periodic or chronic. If the tension headache occurs once or twice a month, then it can be considered as periodic. If the frequency of headache is more, then it is a case of chronic headache. The duration of the headache could be half an hour to one week. The headaches are not very severe. It could be mild or moderate. The intensity of pain varies from person to person and also from time to time.
Precautions to avoid tension headache -
- Eat a balanced diet. Include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet. This will improve your immunity towards diseases and keep tension headache at bay.
- Sleep is a major contributing factor in most of the headaches. Sleep well, maintain a time table to sleep and stick to the time table even in the weekends.
- Drink ample water and fluids through out the day. It keeps the body hydrated and helps in constipation and indigestion.
- Exercise regularly. Go for a walk to get fresh air. Relax your mind and body by doing deep breathing. Do deep breathing for at least 3 minutes every day. Lie down with your eyes closed and spread your hands and legs a little. This relieves stress and eases out tension headache.
- Eat a banana whenever you get a headache.
- Drink a hot cup of tea or coffee to relieve headache.
- Rest for some time in a peaceful room.
- Herbal tea made of tulsi leaves, mint leaves, lemongrass, clove, cinnamon and cardamom with slight sugar helps in relieving tension headaches.
- Massage scalp with hot oil for 10 to 15 minutes. Apply little pressure while massaging.
You may generally not visit a doctor and take a pain killer or even try some alternative therapy. However, when the headache is severe, and if the headache persists, then, it is advisable to see a doctor. Although most of the tension headaches are stress related and are not serious in nature, a persistent headache could be a signal to some underlying disease and require medical attention. The headaches could be due to:
- High blood pressure
- Brain tumor
Visit your doctor if you experience any of the following:
- Sudden and acute headache.
- Headache accompanied by high fever, stiffness in neck and shoulders, blurred vision, confusion of thoughts, seizures, weakness, slurred speech.
- Headache after a head injury, especially if it gets worse.
- Chronic headache accompanied by cough, weakness and acute pain with sudden movement of body.