What Are Primary Headaches?

Headache is one of the commonest complaints. The reality is that headaches have caused us to overuse the "over the counter" self medications such as paracetamol, aspirin, Paineeze, cafenol, disprin, anadin etc depending on what your nearest store has in stock. Did you know that paracetamol is one of the drugs that is very toxic to the liver?


These are headaches directly emanating from head area. 


TENSION headache is the commonest type of primary headache. It feels like one has a tight band tied across the forehead. Can also be described as pressure headache.

SINUS headache is experienced when the sinuses are inflamed/infected. 

MIGRAINE headache is usually one sided and preceded by funny strange smells or funny visuals. It has gradual onset. Can be relieved by vomiting. 

CLUSTER headache. Always one sided headache and is usually around the eye. The 5th cranial nerve called Trigeminal nerve is involved. Lasts about 3 hours. Typically can present with the dropping of the eyelid, pupil is unable to dilate, some nasal discharge is present and tears run down the cheek. 

HORMONAL headache is common in women around their monthly periods due to a drop in the levels of estrogen. 


These headaches are a result of underlying serious medical problems such as systemic conditions like cancer, high blood pressure, flu, meningitis, bleeding in the head, anaemia, brain tumors and inflammation of the temporal artery in the sides of the head. 

OTHER CAUSES of headache can be dehydration, lack of sleep, toothache, stress, anxiety,  side effects of other medications. Some people can have headache from family planning tablets.

I urge you to think about what could be causing your headache before jumping to take the nearest available painkiller. Always address the cause

Dr AJ 


Inserted by Zimbabwe Online Health Centre

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