Stress headache (tension-type headache) is a prevalent form of primary headache that tends to occur repeatedly, particularly when the person is stressed out. Although not generally an indication of something grave yet it could become quite painful and be niggling in nature.
The physician would ask questions about whether the pain or pressure is a squeezing, constricting or a pulsating type. The sufferer ought to provide details about whether the pain is constantly felt and dull or if it is sharp-shooting or piercing in nature.
A vital sign of how severe the headache is would be based on the extent to which one is functional when one experiences it. Is the headache mild or moderate ranging in nature and is one capable of working during that time or does the headache hinder sound sleep or prevents one from falling asleep?
The patient would be asked whether the pain is felt bilaterally, unilaterally, all over the head or merely the temple or at the back of the eyes. The International Headache Society, world’s top membership association, committed to the cause of assisting headache sufferers points out that stress headache diagnosis is based on the below mentioned explanation of symptoms experienced.
Oftentimes, sufferers describe the headache-related pain as continually felt pressure quite alike the head being wringed or compressed in a vice and affecting both sides of the head. The pain could be of the radiating kind, spreading from the eyes, back, neck or some groups of muscles. Intensity of pain classically ranges between mild and moderate. It isn’t exacerbated by routinely performed physical tasks.
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Stress headache could be lasting anywhere between thirty minutes to a week’s time. But when the headache lasts for fifteen days or longer on a monthly basis and spanning a three-monthly time period then the person might be suffering from chronic stress headaches.
The person doesn’t throw up or sense moderately or acutely nauseous. In some cases, a chronic stress headache sufferer might feel mildly nauseous, photophobic (morbidly fearful of light) or phonophobic (intolerant to light). Soreness is sometimes felt on manually palpating the head.
People ailing from episodic stress headaches generally don’t feel nauseous or puke. The person might be either phonophobic or photophobic or neither of them but never the two being felt in conjunct.
Locating the pain is important as stress headache sufferers could sense tightness as well as soreness in a single or more areas such as jaws, head, scalp or neck. Establishing whether an underlying respiratory ailment exists may be contributory, like colds or allergies. Any other reasons for headaches such as poor illumination, being dehydrated, strained eyes or migraine must be ruled out.
Identification of any emotionally triggering factors of stress headache such as feeling hassled/frazzled, anxiousness, depression, tiredness or irritability is vital. Moreover, physical triggering factors such as excessive intake of alcoholic beverages, caffeine, nicotine or unhealthy diet must also be looked into in detail. Assessing the level of strain and stress one is feeling, for instance, issues on the personal/professional front, experiencing a huge change in life or job-related pressures could also be causing stress headaches.
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