Secret #: Get Rid Of Your Caffeine Headache
This seems fairly straight forward, right? Missing caffeine, drink a cup? Unfortunately, by the time you have reached headache status, a cup of coffee or a soda will not stop the headache. You can try some of the following:
- Peppermint or Lavender Essential Oil Try massaging a drop of either oil into the temples.
- Ice Packs Some people find that ice packs, especially when applied to the back of the neck, stop caffeine headaches.
- Stimulate Pressure Points Pressing on certain parts of the body can relieve pain, including headaches. One study found that acupressure treatments relieved headaches better than muscle relaxers. Try pressing down on the spot between the base of your thumb and your index finger for a full 5 minutes, then repeat on the opposite hand.
- Take a Nap This one seems to work for most people. Drink a cup of coffee or some other caffeinated beverage, then lie down and take a nap for 30-60 minutes. That headache should be gone.
You might want to start alternating decaf coffee with regular coffee until you can break the caffeine habit entirely.
What Are Other Ways To Get Rid Of Headaches
If natural remedies for headaches are not working for you, consider any lifestyle factors that could be contributing. For example:
- Regular exercise promotes good circulation.
- Eat and sleep on a regular schedule.
- Your headache may be a result of overexposure to screens like smartphones, TVs, and computers. Give your mind a break by adding some screen-free time into your schedule.
- Your headache could be a symptom of strained eyesight. Figuring out how to get rid of a headache may be as simple as updating your eyeglass prescription.
- Stop smoking.
- Reduce the amount of alcohol you drink.
If none of these headache remedies work for you, visit your doctor.
Small changes in your daily routines may help relieve headaches naturally. By changing your diet, you may be able to pinpoint any food or ingredients that trouble your system. Even reducing your exposure to digital screens may offer relief.
Tip #5 Try Some Caffeine
While caffeinated drinks can be a trigger for some, others may find that small doses of caffeine can actually help reduce symptoms. Researchers are still learning about the exact role caffeine plays in migraines, but studies have shown that small amounts can help treat headaches.
If caffeine isnt a trigger for you, take some over-the-counter pain medicine that contains caffeine or drink a small cup of coffee. Stick to a maximum of 200mg of caffeine per day, which equals about 2 cups of coffee.
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Reduce Your Stress Levels
This ones probably no surprise, but stress can bring on headaches, so Dr. Newman prescribes some me time to all of his patients. I tell them, man or woman, some time has to be for yourself, he says. Whether it’s going to the gym, walking around the block, reading a book, or talking to friends. Whatever gives you that ahhhhhh feeling is all right for stress reduction.
What Foods Can Trigger Migraine
Many people find that specific foods trigger their migraines. Knowing what triggers a migraine can be easier to prevent it from occurring in the first place. Foods that incorporate additives such as MSGs are often the culprit behind a migraine episode. Lower levels of MSGs are naturally found in tomatoes, cheese, corn, and sauerkraut.
Products containing yeast have also been known to trigger migraines. Lunch meats and hotdogs containing high levels of nitrates should be avoided by those who are susceptible to migraines. Condiments such as ketchup, mayonnaise, barbeque sauce, and even some salad dressings should be carefully checked for MSGs in the ingredient list. Soy sauce is also another major culprit. However, many soy sauce companies are creating MSG-free soy sauce alternatives.
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What To Do Next If Your Headache Wont Go Away
Lets say youve tried all the tips above to no availthe headache is still pounding away. Now you might need some chemical help in the form of medication.
When at-home treatments dont alleviate a mild-to-moderate headache, taking an OTC pain reliever usually helps. For many common headaches, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are the medication of choice. NSAIDs work to relieve common headaches by targeting chemicals associated with inflammation and pain. They include acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen.
But experts warn about taking too much OTC medication, whichparadoxicallycan lead to a condition called medication overuse headache. Basically using too much of this type of medication too often can cause changes in your brain that lead to more headaches. Ultimately, if someone does need to use an OTC pain reliever more than twice a week, getting started on preventive medicine to help reduce how often they have headaches is a good idea, Dr. Halker Singh says.
Sometimes OTC treatments arent enough and, in that case, prescription medications are recommended. For tension-type headaches, your options will look a little different than if youre struggling with migraine attacks.
This is actually a very, very exciting time in the world of migraine, Dr. Halker Singh says. After decades of research, we finally have a better understanding as to why people have migraines and that has led to the development of drugs for the disease of migraine.
Eliminating The Food And Drink Culprits
Since each person is different as to which foods and drinks cause and relieve headaches, it takes giving the special diet attention to determine what triggers headaches and what helps headache pain. It may be possible to link certain foods to your headaches, so you can eliminate them from the diet, or to link them to headache relief and add them to the diet.
Developing a healthy lifestyle is also crucial to headache management. You should not rely only on medications for relief. Many headaches are caused by stress and tension, so address the stress factors in your life. Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. Limit alcohol intake. Do not skip meals. Drink lots of water every day. Get regular good sleep. Exercise regularly. These are behaviors that anyone can control and will go a long way towards preventing headaches and/or minimizing headache pain.
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Of : Know The Type Of Headache Youre Experiencing
Secret #: Get Rid Of Your Cluster Headache
Ugh! Talk about a headache that wont go away! Cluster headaches arent actually headaches but is pain that comes from the dilation of a blood vessel which then touches a large nerve which runs from the side of the ear, down to the face and jaw. It is unknown why this occurs, but it tends to run in cycles, with episodes happening every night for several weeks or months, then disappearing for weeks or months or, for some people, forever.
The pain of a cluster headache is worse than a migraine, but they dont tend to last as long. Some people have described these as a hot poker being shoved in your eye or down your ear. Since the root cause is unknown and prevention is impossible, you will need to find ways to deal with these headaches as they occur. Some remedies that have worked include:
Remember that pain medication will not work for cluster headaches so there is no point in taking any sort of over the counter or even prescription pain killers.
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Use A Cold Or Hot Compress
For headaches with radiating pain that starts in one area and spreads to another, like migraine headaches, cold compresses can be placed over the spot from which the pain originates, says Michael Devine, MD, internal medicine doctor and geriatrician with Devine Concierge Medicine, a primary care practice in Philadelphia.
Cold temperatures have a numbing effect, which can dull the pain. They can also constrict the blood vessels, which may help relieve migraines. You can make your own cold compress by placing a damp towel in the freezer for about 10 minutes. An ice pack would also work.
Heat is better suited for tension headaches, Devine says, which often manifest as dull, aching head pain and a feeling of tightness across your forehead.
Tensions headaches are typically caused by stress and relaxing stiff neck and shoulder muscles can help relieve this type of headache. For example, heat packs or a hot towel can be draped over the neck and shoulder muscles to help relax the muscles.
Acute Treatment For Cluster Headaches
Given the severity and also the relative brevity of cluster headaches, acute treatments need to work quickly to relieve the pain and suffering caused by them. According to neurologist and headache expert and researcher Peter J. Goadsby, MBBS, writing for the American Headache Society, effective acute treatments for cluster headaches include:
- Inhaled oxygen
- Injected dihydroergotamine
- Topical lidocaine nasal drops
Another option, the drug Emgality , was approved in 2019 to treat cluster headaches, becoming the only drug specifically approved for this type of headache. Its also approved for the prevention of migraine attacks.
When used to treat cluster headaches, Emgality is self-administered using three, 100-milligram prefilled syringes, which are taken one after the other at the start of a cluster period and then every month until the end of the cluster period.
Emgality belongs to a class of drugs known as calcitonin gene-related peptide antibodies. Drugs in this class are either targeted against CGRP receptors or against CGRP itself.
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Tip #1 Change Your Environment
Fluorescent lights, construction noises, perfumes or colognes, and even car exhaust fumes can all cause sensory overload and trigger or worsen an attack. If you suspect something in your environment is causing a migraine, go to another room or head indoors if youre outside.
Move to a calm, quiet, and dark room and lay down if you can. Dont look at any phone or computer screens.
If you cant move rooms, try dimming the lights, opening a window, or putting on noise-canceling headphones.
Am I At Risk For Chronic Daily Headache
Anyone who has recurrent acute headaches and who uses short-acting medication or techniques to treat them is at risk of developing chronic daily headache, which is characterized by headache symptoms 15 or more days of the month over three months, notes an article published in February 2020 in Global Advances in Health and Medicine on Integrative EastWest Medicine Intervention for Chronic Daily Headache.
The two most common types of chronic daily headache are chronic migraine and chronic tension-type headache, although the two types often overlap. In other words, people diagnosed with chronic migraine often also have symptoms of chronic tension-type headache, and vice versa.
Individuals with chronic daily headache often also have a diagnosis of medication-overuse headache.
If your head pain or other symptoms cause you to frequently take short-acting medication, talk to your doctor about being referred to a headache specialist, who should be able to identify medical treatments as well as lifestyle or behavioral changes that can help to relieve your symptoms while also reducing your reliance on acute medications.
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Avoid Contact With Chemicals Or Other Strong Smells
For people who often experience migraines, avoiding strong smells may be a wise step to take when trying to prevent them.
One 2013 study found that odors from sources such as perfumes or other strong-smelling chemicals may trigger migraines after just a few minutes of exposure.
It may help if people avoid sources of these smells, such as department stores, others who wear a lot of perfume, or chemical smells from cleaning products.
Whats The Location Of Your Headache
A headache does not always start inside your skull. Headaches typically happen when swelling or inflammation in the nerves, muscles and blood vessels of the skull trigger pain signals. These pains feel like theyre coming deep inside your brain, but the source of pain often is somewhere else.
Tension headaches, for instance, occur when muscles and nerves in the neck pull tight, creating pressure or pain in your neck, forehead, temples and around your eyes.
Some of the most painful headaches feel like they are centered behind the eyes. These usually come in these categories:
Migraines These headaches are so severe they can disable people. A true migraine can last up to 72 hours, creating throbbing pain beyond the eyes and on one side or both sides of the head. Some people experience a migraine aura, which looks like a halo around light sources.
Cluster headaches These trigger short bursts of excruciating pain that starts behind the eyes and radiates throughout the face, head and neck. They can stick around for months and then fade away for years.
Sinus infections Your skull has a bunch of air-filled spaces called sinuses behind your nose, forehead and cheeks. The pain kicks in when the tissues of the sinuses become infected.
Sometimes the vision system eyes, optic nerves and the brain causes problems that lead to pain. This raises the next question in your quest to get rid of headaches.
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Keep A Diary To Identify Triggers
Not only can a journal help you track symptoms that signal the onset of a headache or migraine, but it may also reveal the foods and drinks that trigger them. The specific culprits can vary from patient to patient, but aged cheeses, MSG-containing foods, and artificial sweeteners are a few common ones. Dark alcohols like red wine, whiskey, bourbon are also more likely to cause migraines than white wine, gin, or vodka, Dr. Newman says.
Secret #: Get Rid Of Your Tension Headache
Tension headaches are the most common type of headache people complain about. As you can imagine, this type of pain is caused by stress and tension. While over the counter pain relieves usually work, they can lead to rebound headaches .
How can you get rid of a tension headache fast? Try some of the following:
If you feel like you have tried everything, and you still suffer from chronic tension headaches, speak with your doctor or chiropractor about what your next steps should be.
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Prescription Drugs For Quick Migraine Relief
Headaches caused by migraine frequently occur along with other symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, or sensitivity to light and sound, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Many people experience a migraine attack as a throbbing pain on one side of the head. Treating migraine symptoms right away can shorten the attack.
The types of medications that can alleviate symptoms once a migraine attack has started are known as acute, abortive, or rescue medications. These include OTC pain relievers such as aspirin and ibuprofen, prescription medications called triptans, and a new class of drugs called CGRP receptor antagonists.
Triptans Triptans are selective-serotonin receptor agonists, which means that they are believed to stimulate serotonin, a neurotransmitter found in the brain, to reduce inflammation and constrict blood vessels, which in turn stops the headache or migraine attack, according to the National Headache Foundation.
There are currently seven triptan drugs available in the United States: Axert , Relpax , Frova , Amerge , Maxalt , Imitrex , and Zomig . All are available in pill form two, Imitrex and Zomig, come as a nasal spray and one, Imitrex are sold in an injectable form.
Other Acute Migraine Treatments Other medications that may be used for acute treatment of migraine include:
Treatment For Pregnant And Breastfeeding Women
In general, migraine treatment with medicines should be limited as much as possible when you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.
Instead, trying to identify and avoid potential migraine triggers is often recommended.
If medicine is essential, your GP may prescribe you a low-dose painkiller, such as paracetamol.
In some cases, anti-inflammatory medicine or triptans may be prescribed.
Speak to a GP or your midwife before taking medicine when you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.
Page last reviewed: 10 May 2019 Next review due: 10 May 2022
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Take A Break From Screens
One of the most common symptoms associated with Computer Vision Syndrome or Digital Eye Strain is headaches, the American Optometric Association states. Whether it’s a computer, cell phone, or tablet, just scrolling up and down can trigger headaches in some people, Dr. Newman says. To prevent discomfort, the AOA recommends following whats called the 20-20-20 rule: Take a 20 second break to view something 20 feet away every 20 minutes.