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Common Headache Triggers (And How to Prevent Them)

If there’s anything that can distract you from your work from home routine, it’s an old-fashioned headache. However, it can be challenging to find what causes it, especially if you’re wailing in pain because of it. There are many types of headaches, with different catalysts, and with varying degrees of severity. You need to learn the different types of headaches so you can understand what causes them.

  • Primary headache. It happens when the headache itself is the main issue. It’s not an indication of another condition or disease; these hurt a lot but are often not serious. It has different subtypes.
  • Migraine headache. It is characterized by a pulsating or throbbing pain in your head. It’s often accompanied by sensitivity to light and nausea.

A migraine headache is debilitating and can last hours to days. There aren’t actual causes to it, but it can be triggered by hormonal changes, alcoholic and caffeine-based drinks, sleep issues, stress, intense physical activity, and more.

  • Tension headache. It is a common type of headache that manifests on the back of your head, temple, and forehead. Like migraines, experts don’t know the direct causes of tension headaches just yet. But they’re often triggered by stress.
  • Cluster headache. It is the most painful and unbearable type of headache. It’s characterized as a stabbing pain often behind an eye or a temple. It’s localized on one side of the head, too.

Cluster headaches can last minutes to hours and occur in cycles of months to years. It’s also unknown what directly causes them. They don’t have known triggers too, but alcohol and medication like nitroglycerin may worsen a cluster headache.

  • Hypnic headache. It is a rare type of headache that only develops while you’re sleeping. It follows a schedule, too. Severe types of hypnic headaches also often come with a throbbing sensation. There is no known cause or trigger to a hypnic headache.
  • Secondary headache. It is the kind caused by other conditions that trigger pain in your neck and head. They’re rare but are often more dangerous than their primary counterparts. Secondary headaches are warning signs of more serious issues like aneurysms, meningitis, brain injuries, or tumors.

How to Prevent Headaches

Headaches often happen without any signs or symptoms. You can minimize primary headaches by developing healthy habits like:

  • Sticking to a proper sleep schedule — Migraines are more likely to happen when you’re sleep deprived or have an erratic sleep pattern. Make sure you stick to a fixed schedule, with about eight or nine hours of shuteye.
  • Alleviating stress — Stress is a common issue that triggers primary headaches. It’s hard to prevent, especially during these unprecedented times. Make sure to destress by spending time with loved ones and enjoying hobbies. And if you’re feeling extra stressed during or after work, do some beginner meditation. Physical stress on your body may also pinch nerves in your neck and head, triggering nasty headaches. If you suspect that this is the case, consult with a chiropractor immediately.
  • Moderate caffeine and alcohol intake — Caffeine withdrawal can cause major headaches. If you’re edging off the coffee, make sure it’s gradual. And if you’re out for a night of drinking, don’t do it until you’re blacked out — unless you want a splitting migraine during your hangover period.

Whether you like it or not, headaches are a regular part of life. They often happen unannounced, while some can be predicted by triggers. Keep these nasty headaches at bay with the healthy suggestions above. A healthy mind makes for a healthy body, after all.

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