If you suffer from headaches, they can stop you in your tracks. Dr.Nina Byrnes from TV3’s “Doctor in the House” has some advice on what’s normal and what is not.
The most common type of headache is a tension headache
- Your head might feel tight across the forehead
- You might feel tired
- They generally come on when you’re overworked or stressed
- They can occur frequently but usually go away easily with painkillers so this is not a headache to worry about
- If you can increase your fluids, this can help
- A migraine occurs one-sided, behind the eye and into the side of the head. It can be a really intense pain and you may need to lie down. Some people may feel more nauseous.
- If you get an “aura” with a migraine (for example, blurred vision, smell funny things, odd sounds or flickering light), this is more serious and you need to speak to your doctor as those suffering from aura migraines shouldn’t be on the pill
- Most headaches don’t mean a brain tumour – they are quite rare but if you have constant headaches that wake you during the night or you have any weakness in arms, it’s worth seeing your doctor
- Some people may get “leisure illness” when you take holidays and find it hard to unwind
- Cluster headaches can happen for a number of weeks and then settle down
- The first step is to drink lots of water (2 litres a day) and if the headache is still affecting you, 2 paracetamol can be effective.
- Beware of codeine though as this can sometimes cause withdrawal headaches if you take them too regularly
Dr.Nina Byrnes will be on “TV3’s Doctor in the House” in early 2017