Decipher a headache’s clues to determine most effective treatment options

Nothing ruins a perfectly fine day quite like a headache. The pain can be impeding, disorienting and sometimes even nauseating. Roughly 45 million Americans suffer from recurring headaches, according to the National Headache Foundation. However, not all headaches are created equal. There are several different types, each with varying symptoms. Understanding different headache causes and treatments can help individuals be prepared.

Tension headaches, otherwise known as “stress” headaches, are the most common among adults. Symptoms include mild to moderate pain across the forehead or on the sides and back of the head and neck. This headache is often accompanied by a feeling of pressure or tightness. Tension headaches can be triggered by a wide range of factors, such as stress, fatigue, anxiety, hunger or poor posture. The most effective way to treat a tension headache is to take an over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever and rest until the symptoms subside.

Migraine headache symptoms may involve moderate to severe pain. Patients who have sensitivity to light and sound may also experience nausea and dizziness. Migraine pain is often described as pounding or throbbing and is usually one-sided, lasting between four hours and three days. Unfortunately for migraine sufferers, these headaches are often hereditary and recurring. An OTC analgesic combination can be used as a first-line treatment, but this is most effective when used at or near the onset of a headache, or in conjunction with a prescription medication indicated for the treatment of migraines.

Cluster headaches are another variation, and are the least common. Cluster headaches occur more often in men, and happen several times a day, at the same time of day, for a period of time lasting five minutes to an hour. These headaches can cycle for up to a month or longer. This intense pain can be described as a burning or piercing feeling in or around the eye on one side of the head. The patient may also experience eyelid swelling, redness and tearing on one side. Those who suffer from cluster headaches often feel they cannot sit still and will pace during an attack. As with migraines, there are specific medical treatments available to decrease the duration and severity of cluster headaches.

Sinus headaches occur when a person’s sinus passages become inflamed or clogged, causing a feeling of pressure in the face. People often confuse tension or migraine headaches with sinus headaches, as the symptoms overlap. A key difference is that these headaches are usually accompanied by other sinus-related symptoms, such as stuffiness, fever, cough and sore throat. To treat a sinus headache, OTC pain relievers can be used to decrease the pain, while an OTC decongestant can help reduce nasal passage swelling.

“There are a number of very effective over-the-counter first-line treatments available to address the symptoms of headaches,” says Dr. Gary Ruoff, a physician certified in headache management and the author of numerous articles on headaches and pain management. “In fact, I recommend many of the ‘store-brand’ pain relievers sold at leading retailers and pharmacies, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. These products are approved by the FDA and use the exact same active ingredients, but cost significantly less than the brand names.”

Allegan, Mich.-based Perrigo is a pharmaceutical company that manufactures and distributes most of the over-the-counter medications found under store-brand labels at leading national retailers, grocers and pharmacies. According to Perrigo, these products are the primary treatments available over-the-counter for tension, migraine and sinus headaches:

* Pain relievers: acetaminophen, ibuprofen, aspirin
* Migraine relief: acetaminophen, aspirin and caffeine combination pills
* Decongestants: pseudoephedrine, oxymetazoline

“If you continue to experience headaches of any type for any prolonged period of time, I suggest following up with your doctor so he or she may evaluate you for any other underlying conditions and suggest the best course of treatment for your situation,” Ruoff says.

News Videos
Homeless residents speak about safety
The homeless residents living at the corner of Owens Ave. and Main St. reflect on how they feel about their safety after two homeless men died, one was hit crossing the street and another was beat to death by another homeless man. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
CCSD Superintendent address alleged racially motivated threats at Arbor View
CCSD Superintendent Dr. Jesus F. Jara gives update on alleged racially motivated threats against Arbor View High School, and says such threats will not be tolerated. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Super Bloom Near Lake Elsinore, California
Crowds packed the hills near Lake Elsinore on Saturday to capture a rare selfie amidst the super bloom of poppies turning the landscape purple. The super bloom was caused by the larger rainfall this year. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Fiery accident in Las Vegas
A three-car accident on Spring Mountain Road around 6:30 pm on Monday night
A bipartisan coalition holds simultaneous rallies to promote criminal justice
A bipartisan coalition holds simultaneous rallies to promote criminal justice. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Stardust implosion anniversary
Twelve years ago today, the Stardust Resort and Casino was imploded. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Lawsuits filed against security contractors at Nevada National Security Site
Two lawsuits were filed today against the current and former government security contractors for the Nevada National Security Site, one on behalf of Jennifer Glover who alleges sexual discrimination and assault and the other on behalf of Gus Redding who alleges retaliation after he gave statements supporting Glover’s claims. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New housing option helps Las Vegas moms keep kids while kicking drugs
WestCare Nevada Women and Children’s Campus in Las Vegas has added a new transitional housing wing for women who have completed the inpatient treatment at the behavioral health nonprofit to help them as they go through outpatient treatment, shore up their finances and prepare to secure long-term housing. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Teenager in critical condition after being struck by an SUV in Henderson
Authorities were called about 2:45 p.m. to the scene in the 2100 block of Olympic Avenue, near Green Valley Parkway and Sunset Road. The teenager was taken to University Medical Center in critical condition. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Water Question Part 3: Conservation loves a crisis
Future growth in the Las Vegas Valley will rest almost entirely on the community’s ability to conserve its finite share of the Colorado River.
The Water Question Part 7: How much can we grow?
Many experts agree that Southern Nevada can continue to grow, so long as residents are willing to do what needs to be done to stretch our crucial resource as far as it will go.
The Water Question Part 6: How many people can Southern Nevada’s water sustain?
The number can swing wildly depending on a host of variables, including the community’s rates of growth, conservation efforts and the severity of drought on the Colorado River.
Mylar Balloon Demo
NV Energy presented a demonstration Wednesday to depict the damage that can be caused by the release of Mylar balloons.
Educators dressed in red have taken to the streets to demand more for their students.
Educators dressed in red have taken to the streets to demand more for their students. Educators from around the State are bringing the Red for Ed movement to the steps of the Nevada Legislature in Carson City, NV, and to the Grant Sawyer Building in Las Vegas. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Nature Conservancy Ranch
The Nature Conservancy just bought the 900-acre 7J Ranch at the headwaters of the Amargosa River, north of Beatty. The property could become a research station, though ranching will continue.
Swift water rescue at Durango Wash in Las Vegas
On Thursday, February 14, 2019, at approximately 8:42 a.m., the Clark County Fire Department responded to a report of a swift water incident where people were trapped in the Durango wash which is located near 8771 Halcon Ave. Personnel found one person who was trapped in the flood channel. The individual was transported to the hospital in stable condition. Video by Clark County Fire & Rescue.
Flooding at E Cheyenne in N. Las Vegas Blvd.
Quick Weather Around the Strip
Rain hits Las Vegas, but that doesn't stop people from heading out to the Strip. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Aaron Semas, professional bull rider, talks about his traumatic brain injuries
Aaron Semas, professional bull rider, talks about his traumatic brain injuries. The Cleveland Clinic will begin researching the brains of retired bull riders to understand the impact traumatic brain injuries have on cognition. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/ Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Matt Stutzman shoots arrows with his feet
Matt Stutzman who was born without arms shoots arrows with his feet and hits the bullseye with remarkable accuracy. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Secretary of Air Force Emphasizes the Importance of Nellis AFB
US Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson visited Nellis Air Force Base during Red Flag training and described how important the base is to the military.
Former Northwest Academy student speaks out
Tanner Reynolds, 13, with his mother Angela McDonald, speaks out on his experience as a former student of Northwest Academy in Amargosa Valley, which includes abuse by staff member Caleb Michael Hill. Hill, 29, was arrested Jan. 29 by the Nye County Sheriff’s Office on suspicion of child abuse.
Former Northwest Academy students speak out
Tristan Groom, 15, and his brother Jade Gaastra, 23, speak out on their experiences as former students of Northwest Academy in Amargosa Valley, which includes abuse by staff and excessive medication.
Disruption At Metro PD OIS Presser
A man claiming to be part of the press refused to leave a press conference at Metro police headquarters, Wednesday January 30, 2019. Officers were forced to physically remove the man. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Clients at Las Vegas’ Homeless Courtyard talk about their experience
Clients at Las Vegas’ Homeless Courtyard talk about their experience after the city began operating around the clock. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Las Vegas parts ways with operator of homeless courtyard
Jocelyn Bluitt-Fisher discusses the transition between operators of the homeless courtyard in Las Vegas, Thursday Jan. 24, 2019.(Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas police and Raiders partner with SafeNest
Las Vegas police and the Raiders partner with SafeNest on Project Safe 417 (the police code for domestic violence is 417). The program partners trained SafeNest volunteer advocates with Metropolitan Police Department officers dispatched to domestic violence calls, allowing advocates to provide immediate crisis advocacy to victims at the scene of those calls. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
North Las Vegas police chief discusses officer-involved shooting
North Las Vegas police chief Pamela Ojeda held a press conference Thursday, Jan. 24, regarding an officer-involved shooting that took place on Jan. 21. The incident resulted in the killing of suspect Horacio Ruiz-Rodriguez. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Volunteers gather for annual Clark County homeless count
Volunteers gather for the annual Southern Nevada Homeless Census, Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Who can understand hospital price lists?
Lists of costs for procedures, drugs and devices are now posted the websites of hospitals to comply with a new federal rule designed to provide additional consumer transparency. Good luck figuring out what they mean.
TOP NEWS
Home Front Page Footer Listing