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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What causes persistent headaches?

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Dr. Achuo Ascensius

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2012

Answered : 1040 Questions

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Posted on Tue, 19 Aug 2014 in Headache and Migraines
Question: Hello, I am 18 years old and I have been experiencing some headaches for the past week (I usually never have any headache) and it seems to be on only one side of the head and then switches to the other side. Sometimes, it can be a sharp pain that only last about 5-10 seconds. My symptoms are mainly sensitivity to light. I usually do not have any headache in the morning. It has been going on for about a week now and I'm a little worried.Thanks!
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Answered by Dr. Achuo Ascensius 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
Its likely you are having migraines

Detailed Answer:
Hello,
thanks for the query,

It is likely that you are suffering from migraine headaches. Migraine headaches are headaches that cause intense throbbing pain usually on one side and are sensitive to light or sound. The headaches could be preceded by some symptoms such as vertigo, loss of vision, or sensory sensations on body parts.

Exact causes of migraines are not known but certain food types e.g. cheese
and salty foods can trigger migraines.
Alterations in eating habits, alcohol especially wine, caffeinated drinks may also trigger migraines as well as food additives such as sweeteners.

Stress is a well known trigger of migraine. Intense lights and loud sounds and bad smells are also known to trigger migraines. Changes in sleep patterns, eating habits, intense physical exertion can trigger migraine as well as a change of environment.

You need to keep a headache diary in which you record all the things you do and the time of onset of the migraines so as to fully understand the things that trigger your migraine. Getting enough rest, sleeping enough but not too much, doing relaxation exercise during crises etc will help you a great deal.

Drugs do exist to calm down the headaches such as paracetamol combined with metoclopramide, ibuprofen, sumatryptan (imitrex) etc are useful for management of migraines.

Meeting your doctor for a more detail examination before prescription usually is the best option.

Hope this helps you.If you have further query, i will be glad to help.
Best regards
Dr Achuo
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vinay Bhardwaj
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