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Headaches -- What's on your mind?

ABRAHAM LINCOLN CAPITAL AIRPORT, Illinois -- There are several types of headaches today that have been established over the years. According to the National Headache Foundation, over 45 million Americans suffer from chronic, recurring headaches each year. One hundred and fifty billion people each year are unable to work and 10 million Americans visit their doctor each year, all because of headaches. Headaches also cost an estimated $50 billion each year in health care costs. Headaches can be caused by several factors, including the following:

· Infections (colds, fever)
· Exposure to cigarette smoke
· Exposure to chemicals or perfumes
· Certain foods
· Possible brain tumor or a brain aneurysm

These are just a few common causes of a typical headache. There have been over 150 types of headaches identified, but let's just discuss a few of the more common ones. First, there are tension headaches. These are the most common among adults and adolescents. They cause mild to moderate pain and come and go over a long period of time. Secondly, we have migraines. These are described as a pounding and throbbing pain that can last anywhere between four hours to three days and usually occur one to four times a month. These types of headaches will make you sensitive to light or noise, and could give you blurred vision and upset stomach. Next, we have sinus headaches. These occur when you have a sinus infection and the pain is in the area of your cheekbone, forehead, or the bridge of your nose.

Headaches are diagnosed by your primary care doctor, using a few to help with the process. First he/she will start with a physical exam to rule out any other underlying conditions. Then they will ask you about your symptoms and family history. The next step might be a CAT scan or an MRI of your head to check for any abnormalities. Treating headaches are done typically with medication and lifestyle changes. As you can see headaches are painful and not too fun to deal with! With these tips to help manage your headaches, life could be a lot easier for you:

Follow your headache treatment plan your doctor prescribed

· Reduce your stress
· Get enough sleep
· Exercise
· Quit smoking