Headaches are extremely annoying, let alone painful. What makes them annoying is that it can affect our mood and ability to perform normal tasks. And when we say annoying, it’s because certain headaches are preventable. But before anything, we have to understand what the causes of headaches are, the different types and their symptoms.

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Some headaches can be worse than others, and some may even be more serious than you think. When you feel a headache coming on, it’s best to take action as soon as possible. Whether by taking medication or just staying still, the best way to prevent headaches is to counteract it before it gets worse.

In terms of preventing headaches, we need to delve into the causes of headaches, what can trigger it, and which type of people are more prone to it.

Symptoms of Headaches

Prevent Headaches

Your average and typical headache will usually conjure these types of symptoms and feelings and can usually be self-treated with over the counter medication and rest.

  • Dizziness
  • Loss of balance
  • Confusion
  • Tiredness
  • Inability to focus
  • Vision impairment
  • Throbbing pain in the head
  • Tightness in the brain area

These are all common symptoms of headaches and can be self-treated. However, if the severity of these symptoms is too much to bear or no longer go away from self-treatment, you will need to seek medical attention immediately as the condition may worsen or can be a more serious health condition.

Causes and Reasons for Headaches

Prevent Headaches
  • Stress – This can often be one of the main causes, especially for adults. When you are stressed and have too many things on your mind, you are straining your cognitive abilities and causing tension. 
  • Sensory complication – When exposed to too many bright lights, sounds that are too loud or significantly confronting smells, your brain may find it difficult to comprehend, and so it begins to strain and cause headaches.
  • Dehydration – Is a very common reason why people get headaches. Without the electrolytes from water, your brain becomes dehydrated and will cause headaches and discomfort. Dehydration, accompanied by stress and poor lifestyle habits is a recipe for disaster.
  • Insufficient amounts of sleep – By sleeping too much or too little, your brain either becomes inactive or overexerted. This will ultimately lead to headaches when you wake up or during the day when you’re feeling tired.
  • Not eating enough – Like drinking water and staying hydrated. Food is the fuel for the body to run, and the same goes for the brain. Insufficient nutrients and dietary intake will cause problems for the brain, and so you will end up feeling it.
  • Focusing too hard – When you focus on one thing too hard and too long, your brain will become tired and begin to falter. This usually happens when performing a problem-solving task.
  • Straining exercise – During exercise, you put a lot of pressure on your body and nervous system. In turn, your brain will feel that pressure, too, causing headaches.
  • Other causes: Hormonal changes, too much caffeine intake, harmful food additives, drug abuse, poor lifestyle

How to Prevent Headaches

Prevent Headaches
  • Avoid your triggers. If you know a certain stimulus will cause you a headache, stay away from it. If it’s a particular thought that makes you stressed, avoid thinking about it or develop a way to manage it. In the UAE, the hot temperature is a reason why people can get easily dehydrated and get headaches. If dehydration or weather is the cause for you, bring a hat or sunglasses when you’re out and about. Bring enough water or fluid with electrolytes if you’re easily dehydrated. Understanding what triggers your headaches is the best way to prevent it in the first place.
  • Get the rest you need. No matter how much work you have or your level of commitment, your mind and body, need to rest. Getting rest means sleeping at the right time and for sufficient amounts. Resting can also mean taking breaks during tasks, so you don’t strain the brain. By resting enough, you are conserving more energy for your body. Rest can also provide you with mental benefits, so you don’t stress out too easily.
  • Get hydrated. Staying hydrated is one of the most important ways to prevent headaches. No home remedy can prevent headaches if you aren’t hydrated. Getting enough water and fluid intake on a daily basis doesn’t just improve brain health, but also improves body functioning, boosts your immune system, keeps the body energized and keeps the brain running smoothly without crashing and causing headaches. 
  • Watch your nutrient intake. Ensure that you are eating the necessary dietary requirements and staying away from harmful ones. Getting vitamins, minerals, proteins, and carbohydrates means that not only is your brain being fed with the right fuel but also the body. By feeling physically better, your brain does not need to worry about the strains of the body, thus lowering its chances of getting a headache. Harmful additives such as too much sodium or msg can dehydrate your body and brain. This is why you should watch what you eat and keep an eye out on nutrition labels of processed foods.
  • Calm down and stress less. Though this sounds very basic, all adults and people with large amounts of commitments will know how hard it is. The first step to calming down and becoming less easily frustrated is to get your life organized, set your priorities straight and focus on one thing at a time. By getting organized, you prevent panic and frustration from happening, preventing your chances of getting a headache.

When to See a Doctor

Prevent Headaches

As with most headaches, they can usually go away by self-treatment. Most of the times, a bit of medication and rest should do the trick. However, if that doesn’t seem to work and your condition worsens and is out of your control, you need to seek the doctor immediately.

Pay attention to the below point. If you suspect them in your health, get medical attention as soon as possible.

  • When medication and rest don’t or stop working
  • When it feels sudden, sharp and severe
  • Confusion, double vision, weakness
  • Suffer from two or more headaches in a week
  • You take antibiotics almost every day and more than recommended amounts
  • Following a recent head injury
  • Numbness or loss of physical feeling
  • They happen randomly without any real triggers
  • Impairment of cognitive abilities 
  • Impairment of motor abilities

Head over to the Okadoc app to immediately book an appointment with your health practitioner.