The Difference Between General Headaches & Headache Disorders
Nearly everyone gets a headache from time to time, but having a headache disorder is a condition that is more prolonged, severe, and debilitating.
Headache disorders are common conditions of the central nervous system, but there are several different types that have their own set of symptoms and triggers.
One of these disorders is the cluster headache, which can occur in both episodic and chronic forms. In this article, we discuss the difference between headache disorders like this one and general headaches that are more common and occasional.
What Are Headache Disorders?
According to the World Health Organization, nearly half of the adult population has had a headache within the past year. However, headache disorders are considerably less common. Headaches that occur on 15 or more days per month, for consecutive months, affect up to four percent of the adult population around the world.
These disorders involve recurrent headaches and create long-term pain, financial cost, and reduced quality of life. Unfortunately, most people who have headache disorders are not properly diagnosed by a physician, and many headache sufferers don’t receive the attention and treatment they need.
Headache disorders are very painful conditions that recur regularly over time. The headaches can be the primary symptom or a secondary symptom along with other painful and uncomfortable conditions. Headache disorders do not discriminate and affect people of every race, age, geographical area, and socio-economic status.
Headache Disorders for Cluster Headaches
One of the most severe types of headache disorders is the cluster headache. This is primary headache disorder that affects fewer than one in 1,000 adults, but interestingly, it affects six times more men than women.
This type of headache is considered to be a disorder because it involves frequently recurring headaches that can happen up to a few times per day. Although typically brief, these headaches are severe and usually focused around one eye.
Other Types of Headache Disorders
However, cluster headaches aren’t the only type of headache disorder that people suffer from. The most common type of headache disorder is the tension-type headache, and migraines are another headache disorder that primarily target women between 35 and 45 years old.
Another one of the biggest causes of headache disorders is the overuse of medication. But with an effective pain management strategy, this type of headache is preventable and can be avoided.
Comparison to General and Common Headaches
There are a few key differences between headache disorders, such as cluster headaches, and occasional general headaches that are more common. General headaches typically go away on their own with over-the-counter treatment and do not establish a pattern of recurrence. However, headache disorders can be disabling. In fact, a global study found that headache disorders were collectively the third highest cause of years lost due to disability.
The long-term effects of headache disorders can be devastating, as they go beyond the pain to impact all aspects of daily life. People who suffer from prolonged and repeated headache attacks may live in fear of when the next one will strike, have trouble maintaining relationships both personally and professionally, and may be more likely to develop anxiety and depression. Chronic sufferers may also be more susceptible to developing other illnesses after coping long-term with headache disorders.
Treatment for Headache Disorders
Whether you have a general headache or a headache disorder, Vanquish delivers gentle and effective headache relief with two powerful pain relievers and a small dose of caffeine to increase the speed of their effectiveness. Other commonly recommended treatments for headache disorders include analgesics, prophylactic, and anti-emetic medications.
But because the nature of headache disorders varies greatly, you should consult a medical professional for an accurate diagnosis for your particular condition and consider lifestyle modifications as well as medical treatment.
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