Why Do We Get Headaches?

Why Do We Get Headaches?


We’ve all suffered from a headache at one
point or another. Whether it’s self-induced or something out
of our control, a pain in the brain is never much fun. Headaches are one of the most common medical
complaints. They can affect anyone regardless of age,
race, or gender, and they occur for all sorts of reasons. Some last for minutes, some for hours, and
some for days or even weeks! Today, we’ll explore why that is , in this
episode of the Infographics show, Why Do We Get Headaches? First of all, just how common are headaches? The World Health Organization reports that
almost half of all adults worldwide will experience a headache in any given year. And the reasons can be anything from signs
of stress, medical disorders, such as migraine or high blood pressure, anxiety, depression,
or even drinking too much alcohol. First we decided to look at how the medical
industry categorizes headaches. There are primary headaches, which is defined
as when the pain in your head is the condition. Your headache isn’t being triggered by something
that your body is dealing with. Common primary headaches include migraines,
cluster headaches, and tension headaches. Then there are secondary headaches, which
may feel exactly the same as a primary headache, but is actually the result of another condition,
such as a sinus headache from sinusitis. Let’s take a look at a few of the possible
causes of headaches. We came across an article on the United Kingdom’s
National Health Service website. They list 10 of the most common triggers for
headaches: 1: Relaxing after stress – when your levels
of stress hormones drop, there is a rapid release of neurotransmitters and other brain
activity, which causes a headache. 2: Pent-up anger: When you’re angry, muscles
in the back of your neck tense up, causing a tight sensation around your head. 3. Poor posture: Poor posture also causes muscle
tension in your back, neck and shoulders, which can lead to a headache. 4. Perfume: Household cleaners, along with perfumes
and fragrant air fresheners, contain chemicals that can bring on headaches. 5. Bad weather: High humidity, rising temperatures
and storms can all bring on head pain. 6. Grinding teeth: Grinding your teeth at night
makes your jaw muscle contract, often causing a dull headache. 7. Bright lights: Bright lights and glare, especially
if flickering, can induce migraines. 8. Food triggers: Many foods contain chemicals
that can bring on headaches. Some culprits include aged cheeses like stilton
and brie, diet fizzy drinks, and processed meats and fish. 9. Sex headaches: Yes! A headache can be the result of sex and not
always the reason for no sex. Doctors think sex headaches are due to pressure
building up in the head and neck muscles. The headaches can happen during foreplay or
just before orgasm, and can last for a few minutes or up to an hour. 10. Ice cream: We’ve all experienced brain freeze
after eating ice cream too quickly. Well, that sharp, stabbing pain in your forehead
is caused by cold material moving across the roof of your mouth and the back of your throat. What about headaches that last for days or
even weeks? Some of the worst headaches are migraines
and cluster headaches. A cluster headache is one of the most painful
types of headaches there is. The condition affects 0.1 percent of the world’s
population and a sufferer often awakens in the middle of the night with intense pain
in or around one eye on one side of their head. The pain can last from weeks to months, and
is usually followed by remission periods when the headache stop for months or sometimes
even years before returning. We looked at some personal accounts of people
dealing with cluster headaches and found a 2014 Vice article, where a 27 year old woman
talks about her experiences with the pain. Imagine waking up in the middle of the night
and feeling a drill in your eye, like somebody has pierced a hot metal rod through your neck
and rammed it up into your brain. This not a metaphor. This is what a ​cluster headache feels like,
she explains. Fortunately, cluster headaches are rare and
not life-threatening. The most successful ways to treat the pain
are a shot of sumatriptan (Imitrex) and breathing oxygen through a facemask for 20 minutes,
as well as prescription migraine medication. In some rare cases, people require surgery
to alleviate the pain. So, what about migraine headaches? Migraines are far more common than cluster
headaches but still very unpleasant. They are the third most common disease in
the world with an estimated global prevalence of 14.7%, which is around 1 in 7 people. A migraine can cause severe throbbing pain,
which is usually on one side of the head. And it’s not only a headache. Sufferers often vomit and have extreme sensitivity
to light and sound. Attacks can cause significant pain for hours
to days and can be so severe that the pain is disabling. So why do some people get migraines and some
not? According to Amy Norton, writer for WebMd.com,
people who experience migraines have a thinner and smaller cortex compared to headache-free
people shown in MRI scans done by the researchers. Maybe this is the reason, however according
to ScienceFocus, the precise cause of migraines is still unknown. The most likely causes are hormonal fluctuations,
certain foods and additives, skipping meals or consuming a lot of caffeine, and disturbed
sleep and jet lag. One of the most common reasons for a headache
is a hangover. According to the Honor Society of Nursing
(STTI), up to 75 percent of people who drink alcohol have experienced hangover symptoms
at least once. So what is a hangover and why do you get a
headache after drinking alcohol? When alcohol enters your bloodstream, it tells
your pituitary gland not to produce the hormone vasopressin. Without vasopressin, the kidneys send water
directly to the bladder instead of reabsorbing it into the body. This is why drinkers have to make frequent
trips to the bathroom after urinating for the first time during an evening of drinking. When you’re drinking alcohol, you lose about
four times more liquid than you gain. This causes dehydration, one of the main symptoms
of a hangover. The headache is a direct result of dehydration. Your organs are so desperate, they steal water
from your brain, which causes your brain to shrink a little – ouch! And there’s your hangover headache. But the good thing about this type of headache
is, you can choose whether to indulge or not. To avoid the dreaded hangover headache, drink
plenty of water, get enough sleep, eat a hearty breakfast…or just give up the bottle. So, have you suffered from any of these types
of headaches? Or perhaps you know of some alternative cures
not mentioned here? Let us know in the comments! Also, be sure to check out our other video
called What Happens When You Drink Alcohol on an Empty Stomach? Thanks for watching, and, as always, don’t
forget to like, share, and subscribe. See you next time!

33 comments on “Why Do We Get Headaches?

  1. relentlessnueung Post author

    You uploaded this on my birthday, I was diagnosed with brain tumours last year, my common side effect was headaches. idek u the fbi?

    Reply
  2. Breakzoras Post author

    You mentioned prescription drugs as a solution to the headache, and not cannabis. the best ANTI – headache medicine that exists since forever. You are ignorant.

    Reply
  3. David Erinforth Post author

    My parents used to use some room spray called 'anti tobacco' which gave me terrible headaches. It was the most disgusting thing I've ever smelt, besides my geography teacher

    Reply
  4. Kevin Hi Post author

    I've never gotten a headache. 17, no clue what a headache feels like. Don't know whether to blessed or feel ignorant.

    Reply
  5. Tjani Gomez Post author

    My cluster period just ended. I cluster attacks really are debilitating and one of the worst pains out there.

    Reply
  6. Winston Churchill Post author

    When i had my braces removed,the next day i had a really bad migrane. This was probably because of the drill vibration. My friend had the same after he had his removed so this must be common.

    Reply
  7. Rathial Post author

    I never knew some people didn't get headaches lol I get them all the time because I always have a ton of caffeine and average 3 hours of sleep D:

    Reply
  8. martis martiis Post author

    i get them like 3 times per year but when i do i can't do shit for 5 hours and after it's done i hate bright light for the rest of the day

    Reply
  9. durst Post author

    Only ever experienced around 4-5 migraines in my 18 years of life so far. No other headaches. What happened to me was really odd, though. After focusing on an object it gradually starts fading in and out of my vision. Followed by extreme pain concentrated around an eye. I basically couldn't move and just had to lie down and sleep. Not long after, vomiting. Soon clears up after vomiting and a good rest.

    Reply
  10. One Pine Tree / Ichimatsu Post author

    I once got a headache for a while when I lived in my friend’s house when my house was still being built. It was near summer, I think, and they had no AC.

    Reply
  11. Siobhàn Anderson-Judkins Post author

    I have had cluster headaches for about a year now. The description of a drill going into your eye is pretty accurate. Lucky for me they mostly only last about 15 minutes, but I get at least one per day. And yes, they do wake you up at night.

    Reply
  12. The Infographics Show Post author

    A dark, silent room and sleep is what works best for my migraine. Then I just wait for it to pass. What do you do?

    Reply

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