In your fifties and beyond, you'll experience different types of headaches that can leave you feeling weak or tired. What causes them and how you can best deal with them? Read on to learn more.
You might find it surprising that the headaches the elderly face are similar to what younger adults experience. While they don’t often suffer from headaches, it can be a cause of anxiety as these can be symptoms of other disorders. So as not to worry unnecessarily, get a better idea of the common types of headaches the you'll experience in your senior years and their causes and symptoms.
Migraines are are painful, recurring headaches where you experience a throbbing in the front or on the side of your head, lasting anywhere between one hour to a few days. They usually follow a series of sensory abnormalities called aura, like when you see flashing lights, lose some vision in one or both eyes, or feel some numbness or tingling sensation (pins and needles). Auras usually last for an hour before the migraine sets in.
In extreme cases, the other symptoms of migraines include nausea, chills, a runny nose, or vomiting. It's worth noting that the most common triggers are stress, depression, hunger, certain kinds of medication and food, or exhaustion. As you age, exercise, exposure to hot environments, lights, perfume, sleeping late or even the weather can influence your vulnerability to migraines.
If migraines have been happening for a while, it might be helpful to take note of the facts whenever a migraine strikes. What did you last eat? What were you doing at the time? Did you take any medicine beforehand? This will help you and your doctor see if there’s a pattern behind them and provide the best treatment.
Tension or tension-type Headaches
Also known as stress headaches, tension-type headaches typically last for less than an hour to as long as a week. You'll know if it's a tension headache if you experience a dull pain on both sides of the head, as if there’s a band wrapped tightly around your skull.
It’s not as severe as migraines, but it can involve sensitivity to light or sound. It can also be accompanied by tenderness of your head, forehead, neck, scalp or shoulders.
Some of tension headaches’ most common causes include tiredness, the flu, caffeine, stress, and alcohol, so you might want to get plenty of rest every day and to stay away from tea, coffee and high-intensity physical activities.
The key difference between cluster headaches and migraines as well as tension headaches is that these happen for several minutes to a few hours per day, week, or months even, but they can be excruciating. They also tend to happen at a certain time of the year.
With cluster headaches, you feel pain behind or around the eyes, and this discomfort can spread to the surrounding facial area. These headaches are reportedly triggered by the stimulation of nerves below the brain--these nerves function to give feelings of pain or heat on the face. There’s no clear research yet that explains why this happens.
Make sure to get rid of any vices and get enough sleep if you'd like to avoid getting this extreme type of headache that can last for months on end.
The good news is that even while taking maintenance medicine for other conditions, paracetamol is still considered safe for treating most headaches. If you have hypertension or diabetes, though, it is always best to get green light from your doctor before you use over-the-counter medication.
A trusted household brand since 1965, Biogesic is known to provide safe and effective relief for headache. Containing paracetamol, it can ease minor aches and pains such as headaches. Paracetamol is the generic name of Biogesic. If symptoms persist, consult your doctor.
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