Headaches and How to Prevent Them

Headaches affect nearly 90% of men and 95% of women. It is no secret that there is nothing as mentally exhausting as a headache. If you have ever had a headache you know how it completely alters your personality. A bad headache lowers your productivity, makes you grouchy, and drains you both mentally and physically. The good news is, there are ways to prevent headaches, but first you must understand them.

There are three main types of headaches, which are all very different even though they all affect the same general area, the head. The three main types of headaches are:

MIGRAINE: “A severe recurring headache, usually affecting only one side of the head, that is characterized by sharp pain and is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and visual disturbances.” (Source: Dictionary.com)

I am lucky enough not to suffer from Migraine’s unlike 10 to 15 percent of the global population. Migraines’ are widely considered to be caused by changes in the blood vessels that supply blood to the brain. What causes those changes are highly unknown but many speculate that stress, anger, and physical and mental fatigue might be triggers.

SINUS: “A headache resulting from congestion or infection in the paranasal sinuses” (Source: Dictionary.com)

This is the type of headache that affects me most as I have severe sinusitis, which is acute recurring infection of the sinuses. The sinuses are small cavities in the facial bones that are lined with mucous membrane just below the facial skin. These cavities are concentrated in the nasal region, temples and around the eyes. There are many causes for sinusitis, which, in turn causes the sinus headache. A few causes are allergy, a deviated nasal septum, and a severe cold.

TENSION: “A headache located at the back of the head; usually caused by body tension resulting from overwork or psychological stress” (Source: Dictionary.com)

The tension headache is the most common of the three types. Stress, anxiety and insufficient sleep are the major causes of a tension headache.

Most headaches are preventable. Below are 10 tips to help you prevent headaches before they become, well, headaches.

Tip 1: Get a good night’s sleep. Try to make sure your environment is peaceful, quiet and conducive to sleep. Turn the phone ringer off, make sure the lights are off, wear eye-blinds or earmuffs and make sure you have a comfortable pillow that is not too thick.

Tip 2: Stay away from incense. Incense smoke contains a lot of alkaloids which, when inhaled can cause a lot of quick changes in your blood flow causing a headache.

Tip 3: Inhale steam or menthol vapors. Stand in a hot shower or dissolve menthol in hot water and inhale. This clears out your sinuses and helps prevent a sinus headache. I use this one a lot.

Tip 4: Dink plenty of water. Water is the elixir of life. It helps keep the body running properly. Without enough water, the water balance of the body will become disrupted, which will lead to a terrible headache among other distressing symptoms.

Tip 5: Use cucumber slices to cool your eye muscles. This 100% natural method of cooling your eye muscles only requires a few minutes and fresh cucumber slices. You will be amazed at how refreshing this is.

Tip 6: Do not sleep with hair gel on. Hair gel is full of chemicals and mild perfume that can cause headaches after inhaling them all night. These chemicals also can clog up the pores in your scalp, which need to breathe.

Tip 7: Avoid foods that contain monosodium glutamate and caffeine, or are fermented or pickled. These foods can affect the blood flow in your body causing headaches.

Tip 8: Be sure to stretch your body frequently. Take a few moments every day to stretch really well. This will help you keep your muscles loose.

Tip 9: Eat organic foods. Organic foods do not contain foreign chemicals, which restrict blood flow. They are healthier and make your body happier than processed foods.

Tip 10: Practice Yoga. Yoga has become increasingly popular over the last few years. The benefits of yoga are plentiful, keeping your body, mind and spirit relaxed, refreshed, stress free and overall happier.

Well there you have it, the basics about headaches and 10 easy to implement tips on preventing them. With a little extra effort each day you can drastically decrease the amount of headaches you get, allowing you to live a happier life.

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