Monday, March 20, 2023

Waking Up With Migraine On Left Side

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What Causes Headaches And Migraine In General

Waking Up With Headaches, Neck Pain Or Jaw Pain

Its important to understand that a migraine is not the same as a run-of-the-mill headache. While a headache is caused by nerves that signal muscles and blood vessels to send pain signals to the brain, migraine attacks are not as well understood. In fact, migraine is actually a neurological condition. Experts think this is whats going on with migraine: Nerve cells in the brain overreact to various triggers, which then causes blood vessels to go haywire, leading to chemical changes in the brain that can lead to severe head pain and other symptoms like nausea and changes to your vision, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

How Your Doctor Will Diagnose Your Headache

Your doctor or specialized neurologist will do a physical exam. Youll be asked about your medical history and what symptoms youre having.

Keeping a journal of your headaches and triggers can be extremely helpful for diagnosis. They might ask you questions like these:

  • When did the headaches start?
  • What does the pain feel like?
  • What other symptoms do you have?
  • How often do you get headaches?
  • What seems to trigger them?
  • What makes the headaches better? What makes them worse?
  • Is there a family history of headaches?

Your doctor may be able to diagnose your headache based on symptoms alone. But if they arent sure about whats causing your headaches, they may recommend computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging :

  • A CT scan uses a series of X-rays to create cross-sectional pictures of your brain. It can diagnose bleeding in your brain and certain other abnormalities.
  • An MRI uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create detailed pictures of your brain and its blood vessels. It provides a more detailed brain image than a CT scan. It can help diagnose strokes, bleeding in the brain, tumors, structural problems, and infections.

There are countless headache remedies or hacks that you might have heard about over the years. Here are a few of the most common ones to try:

Medical Procedures For Chronic Headache

In cases of chronic headache thats resistant to treatment, neurologists and pain specialists may consider neurostimulation to take on the pain. These focus on using mild electrical shocks or magnetic waves to stimulate nerves associated with the headaches. This essentially scrambles the pain sensation at its source. These therapies include:

  • Trigeminal nerve stimulation : When headaches start, you wear a device to stimulate the trigeminal nerve, which is associated with pain processing. The Cefaly device is a popular TNS option.
  • Single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation :Another means of managing headaches after onset is transcranial magnetic stimulation. Sold under the name eNeura, its only available with a prescription.
  • Vagal nerve stimulation:Devices can also be used to stimulate the vagus nerve in the neck. Studies have found these to help prevent migraines and cluster headaches.
  • Sphenopalatine ganglion stimulation: The sphenopalatine ganglion is a bundle of nerves behind a bony structure in the nose, which is associated with facial sensation. Electrical signals to stimulate the SPG come from a small device implanted in the area through the mouth. This approach may be effective for cluster headaches.
  • Occipital nerve stimulation :Neurostimulation targeting the occipital nerve at the back of the head can also help. Devices that deliver electricity through the skin using a device or a remote-controlled implant can be considered.

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What Are Headaches Behind Or Above The Left Eye

The term headache is used to describe any kind of pain in your head. The pain can affect just one side of your head or it can affect both sides at the same time.

According to Dr. Benjamin Wedro on MedicineNet, the pain on your left side of your head or right side originates from irritation or inflammation in the tissues and nerves in your head. Also, muscles around your right or left eye, sinuses and ears can also be a reason for headaches if they become strained or tired.1

Dr. Wedro says that there are 3 types of headaches that can affect a person:

  • Primary headaches include migraines and cluster headaches that are commonly felt behind the left eye or right eye only.
  • Secondary headaches are those that are caused by an infection or injury. For example, a blocked sinus on the left side of your head will cause pain above or below your left eye.
  • Cranial neuralgia headaches are often caused by irritated or inflamed nerves and can cause facial pain and headaches on one side of your head.

Transcutaneous Vagus Nerve Stimulation

Waking Up With Headaches In The Morning

Transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation is a fairly new treatment that uses low-voltage electrical currents to stimulate a nerve in the neck.

The aim is to relieve pain and reduce the number of cluster headaches.

You place a small handheld device on the side of your neck. Your specialist will show you exactly where.

Gradually increase the strength of the electrical current until you can feel small muscle contractions under your skin. Hold the device in position for about 90 seconds.

TVNS can be used to treat cluster headaches when you get them, and can also be used between attacks to try to prevent them happening. But TVNS may not help everyone with cluster headaches.

For more information, read the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidance about transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation.

There’s also a new portable TVNS device called gammaCore. NICE has said that gammaCore can be effective for some people and reduce the need for medicines.

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Are Your Bedtime Snacks Causing Headaches In The Morning

As mentioned above, low blood glucose may be one cause of your headache in the morning . Even if you make sure you eat something before you go to bed, hypoglycemia could still be the issue if the snack in question is something your body burns through too quickly. Mixing in some protein may help, as well as a slow-release carbohydrate.

When To See A Doctor For A Headache Behind The Eyes

Most people get headaches from time to time they usually aren’t anything serious, and often go away on their own. However, there are times when you should seek help.

  • you have a head injury from a fall or accident
  • your headache comes on very suddenly and is extremely painful
  • you have a fit or blackout

You should also call an ambulance or go to the emergency department if you have a very painful headache and:

  • feel confused or drowsy

Book an appointment with a doctor if you have a headache and:

  • it keeps coming back or gets worse
  • it doesnt get better with painkillers
  • its a painful throbbing feeling at the front or side of your head
  • you feel sick or vomit and find noise or light painful
  • you have a weakened immune system
  • youve had cancer in the past

Your doctor will ask questions about what your headaches are like, your diet and lifestyle, and whether anyone else in your family gets headaches. This will help them to work out what type of headache you have.

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When Is A Headache A Sign Of A Brain Tumor

A common question about severe or persistent headaches is whether they can be caused by a serious underlying health problem, such as a brain tumor.

The fact of the matter is that headaches are more likely a component of primary headache disorders, such as migraine or tension headaches, rather than due to brain tumors. However, certain factors may indicate that a headache could be symptomatic of a larger issue.

Other Causes Of Headache On Left Side Of Head

Headaches due to eye problems – Dr. Anupama Kumar

Sometimes, left side headaches can be secondary and result from some underlying issues such as:

  • Dissection of the vertebral or carotid artery
  • Strokes and brain tumors might also cause a headache on the left side of the head, but, such a headache is accompanied by double vision, weakness on one side of the body, difficulty speaking, and other neurological symptoms.

One side headache can mean different things, but it often points to a group of disorders that need a thorough investigation to provide relief. Headache doctors focus on how these headaches occur and how long they last to narrow down which category your headaches fall under to provide the best treatment. They will do a physical exam, collect medical history and analyze the symptoms to make an accurate diagnosis and manage your pain.

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What Makes Your Headache Worse

  • Tension headaches are not normally aggravated by physical activity but can make you sensitive to bright light or noise.
  • As mentioned above, physical activity can be why you get a headache after working out. This can be due to dehydration or the stress and activity triggering a migraine.
  • Migraines are known to have a variety of triggers depending on the individual, including stress, hunger, red wine, or dehydration.

Headache On Left Side Of Head Treatment

Typical left-sided headaches can be treated at home with over-the-counter medications. It is essential to use medication according to the doctors advice to avoid overdosage and side effects.

The pain specialist might recommend over-the-counter pain relievers such as:

  • Ibuprofen such as Advil
  • Acetaminophen such as Tylenol

Your doctor might advise a combination of lifestyle changes and home remedies and therapies for treating headaches on the left side of the head. They include:

  • Avoiding or managing stress

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What Are The Most Common Causes Of Morning Headaches

Whether its a migraine, a tension headache, or something else, here are 11 reasons you may be waking up with a headache:

There is an integral relationship between sleep and headaches, Dr. Shadbehr says. Poor sleep quality can cause headaches, and improved sleep quality can help relieve them. There is also a link between insomnia and headaches. If you regularly have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, and you dont feel well rested after a nights sleep, theres a possibility youre dealing with this common sleep disorderand that it could be contributing to why your head is killing you in the morning.

Treating insomnia starts with getting to the root of the problem. Insomnia can be both its own primary problem or a side effect of other conditions. Plenty of things can cause chronic insomnia, from certain mental disorders to stress and poor sleep habits. To get to the bottom of your insomnia , speak with a healthcare professional.

Sleep apnea is a potentially serious condition that causes people to repeatedly stop breathing during their sleep. This condition is linked to a number of health issues, including causing you to wake up with a headache. Heres what happens: A lack of oxygen can lead to increased pressure in the head that spurs a headache, Vernon Williams, MD, sports neurologist and director of the Kerlan-Jobe Center for Sports Neurology and Pain Medicine at Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles, tells SELF.

How Are Headaches Diagnosed In A Child

4 Causes of Morning Headaches There are multiple reasons why you get ...

The healthcare provider will ask about your childs symptoms and health history. He or she may also ask about your familys health history. He or she will give your child a physical exam. The physical exam may include a neurological exam.

Your child may be asked questions, such as:

  • When do headaches happen?

  • How long does the pain last?

  • Do changes in position such as sitting up cause the headache?

You may be asked questions about your child, such as:

  • Does your child have changes in walking?

  • Does your child have changes in behavior or personality?

  • Is your child having trouble sleeping?

  • Does your child have a history of emotional stress?

  • Is there a history of injury to your child’s head or face?

If a more serious condition is suspected ,your child may also have tests, such as:

  • MRI. This test uses large magnets and a computer to make detailed images of organs and tissues in the body.

  • CT scan. This test uses X-rays and a computer to make detailed images of the body. A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans are more detailed than standard X-rays.

  • Spinal tap . This test measures cerebrospinal fluid pressure. It may also be used to check for an infection in the CSF.

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When Are Morning Headaches More Serious Which Diseases Are Associated With Morning Headaches

  • The diseases most commonly associated with headaches are meningitis, an infection of the spinal cord, or a brain tumor. Shingles can also trigger a headache.
  • Other possibilities include trigeminal neuralgia , aneurysm, temporal arteritis, or other autoimmune disorders.
  • None of these cause headaches in the morning specifically, and all can cause bad headaches, at any time of day.

How To Evaluate Morning Headache Pain

The first step in evaluating your morning headache is to notice whether you have any neurological symptoms. This will help determine whether your headache pain needs urgent medical attention.

Keep in mind that morning headache pain with no neurological symptoms usually means that its just a tension or sinus headache. This type of pain is common and represents 90% of all headaches. The remaining 10% of headaches that come with other neurological symptoms are typically either migraines or headaches from ailments like earaches. While unpleasant, these types of headaches are usually not concerning, either. Only a very small percentage of headaches with neurological symptoms require immediate medical attention. The key is to identify these rare instances, which is why knowing how to recognize abnormal neurological symptoms is vital.

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Extremely High Blood Pressure

Extremely high blood pressure, or hypertension, can push the brains blood vessels to their limit. This causes two things to occur: they can become damaged, which causes swelling, and they can leak fluid. Both of these things lead to swelling and since the skull doesnt offer space to expand, this swelling puts pressure on the brain. This causes symptoms that may include headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness, confusion, seizures, and blurred vision. Receiving treatment to lower your blood pressure can improve and relieve symptoms, but must be done cautiously.

Symptoms Of Morning Headaches


So, you woke up with a headache. Despite the pain, you still need to go to work. What should you do? The first thing I ask patients is whether theyre feeling just headache pain or pain plus neurological symptoms. Such neurological symptoms could include:

Before delving into what these symptoms could mean, lets first separate morning headaches into two categories, which Ive called pain and pain-plus:

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How Does Your Headache Feel

  • Tension headaches are characterized by a tightening sensation, as if a band were being constricted about your head.
  • Cluster headaches give off a more âburningâ or âpiercingâ sort of pain.
  • The pain of a migraine headache can be overwhelming to the point of being crippling.
  • Migraine sufferers sometimes also experience brief periods of sudden, stabbing pain around the ear.

The Link Between Sleep Headache And Mood

The same brain regions and chemical messengers impact sleep, headache and mood, so inadequate or poor quality sleep increases the odds for headache and mood change. For example, people living with migraine who also experience insomnia often suffer from anxiety or depression, which are also common migraine comorbidities. An effective migraine treatment plan would factor in the patients medical history and psychological factors.

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When To See A Doctor For Morning Headache Pain

The bottom line is that head pain combined with neurological symptoms, like those mentioned at the beginning of this article, are always considered abnormal until proven otherwise. Therefore, if you wake up with a headache and any symptom that feels off to you, your headache then falls into the Pain-Plus category, which means its best to see a healthcare professional.

This is especially true if you feel like youre experiencing adult-onset migraines. In most cases, migraine sufferers start getting them in their teens or 20s. Therefore, if youre already in your 30s, 40s, or older and start developing what you think are migraines, or if you feel unfamiliar neurological symptoms, consult your doctor.

What Is A Headache In Children

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A headache is pain or discomfort in one or more areas of the head or face. Headaches can happen once in a while. Or they may happen often.

Headaches are often divided into 2 groups, based on what causes them:

  • Primary headaches. These are not linked to another health condition. They are usually caused by tight muscles, widened blood vessels, changes in nerve signals, or swelling in parts of the brain.

  • Secondary headaches. These are a less common type of headache. They are caused by a problem in the brain, or another health condition or disease.

Types of primary headaches include:

  • Tension headache. These are the most common type of headache. Stress and mental or emotional conflict can trigger tension headaches.

  • Migraine. Migraines may start early in childhood. Researchers estimate that nearly 1 in 5 teens has migraine headaches. The average age they can start is 7 years old for boys and 10 years old for girls. There is often a family history of migraines. Some girls may have migraines that happen with their menstrual periods.

  • Cluster headaches. Cluster headaches usually occur in a series that may last weeks or months. This series of headaches may return every 1 to 2 years. These headaches are much rarer than tension headaches or migraines. They can start in children older than age 10. They are more common in teen boys.

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