Tolerating a constant headache doesn’t have to be part of your every day normal. Whether it’s a debilitating migraine or a less painful but still frequent pain, there is usually a trigger, which means there is most likely a solution.
However, sometimes it can be harder to identify on your own. Working closely with your doctor, you can develop a treatment plan to help you stay active in your normal activities without the pain and inconvenience of a headache.
What are common triggers of a headache?
- Stress. Changes in cortisol and adrenaline can lead to symptoms of a headache. For tips on reducing stress, try practicing mindfulness, which can help with managing chronic pain.
- Hormones. Fluctuating hormones, especially around a woman’s menstrual period, can lead to a headache.
- Temperature changes. Changes in barometric pressure, humidity, altitude and winds can spur symptoms.
- Lack of sleep. Lower levels of serotonin, often associated with insomnia, can trigger the trigeminal nerve, spurring migraines and inflammation. Check out these tips for better sleep.
- Light exposure. The glare or effects of bright lights and sun can also trigger the trigeminal nerve, resulting in headache pain.
When to see a doctor for a migraine or headache?
- Your headaches are increasing in frequency.
- Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs do not improve your pain.
- You experience disruption in normal activities like working, sleeping or playing.
What kind of doctor do I see?
You can share your initial symptoms with your primary care physician. They may refer you to neurologist. A neurologist is a specially trained doctor in treating headaches.