Whether it’s sinus pressure or emotional stress, many factors can bring on a headache. Luckily, there are also many ways to treat them. You don’t have to stick out a headache until it goes away on its own; be proactive! Learn how to treat the most common types of headaches and treat yourself to more happy, pain-free days.
Chronic migraines affect over 30 million Americans and can devastate your day with pain. When you feel one coming on, turn off the lights and put your devices away. To quell the pain as you rest, have a cold pack on hand to decrease blood flow towards the area causing you pain. A little bit of caffeine, like a small cup of coffee, can calm inflammation. When you’re feeling better, head to the store and grab some foods rich in B vitamins (like cheese, fish, and chicken) and magnesium (like nuts and leafy greens). Studies have shown that they can help prevent migraines.
When your sinuses get blocked up, that pressure can create nasty headaches for you. Depending on the cause of your sinus headache, some treatment options work better than others. If your allergies are acting up, an antihistamine can cause some relief; if you’ve got an infection, a full course of antibiotics can make it go away. In between doctor’s visits, relieve that pressure with a hot, steamy shower. It’ll thin the mucus out and act as a natural decongestant.
A tension headache can feel like someone’s squeezing your skull. They often appear alongside stressful situations; mindfulness techniques and daily meditation can help manage that stress. When you tackle the root cause of the headache, the pain itself begins to subside. To prevent more tension headaches in the future, practice good posture and spend some screen-free time every day. Eye strain from staring at a computer or phone screen is a recipe for a tension headache.
While a tension headache attacks both sides of the head, a cluster headache focuses on one side, generally around the eye area. You may experience them for an hour or two at a time over several weeks. Medical professionals don’t know the root cause, so they can’t prescribe a cure, but you can take some preventative measures. If you use tobacco, consider quitting. Keep an eye on your alcohol use, and limit your intake of foods with nitrates in them (like bacon and lunch meat). Oxygen treatment, OTC painkillers, and prescription steroids can help mitigate symptoms, too.
When you feel a headache coming on, don’t lose hope—you do have options to combat it. Consult your doctor for professional advice, and in the meantime, learn how to treat the most common types of headaches at home.