It is more common than it seems: your day started like any other, but suddenly your head starts to throb and hurt non-stop. The pain can affect one side or the whole head, can last a few hours or the whole day, and leave you so exhausted and irritable that all you want to do is stay in bed.
There are also terrible migraines, which are more severe headaches. They affect not only the head itself but can cause uncomfortable side effects such as nausea and sensitivity to light and sound. To fight such an enemy, you must know it. But in the case of headaches and migraines, sometimes it’s difficult to determine what causes them.
If you’re being haunted by pains that recur and compromise your whole day, take a look at these five little-known causes of headaches.
1. Simply Stress
Excessive worries about your work or personal life can lead to different intensities of stress. Some common symptoms are chest pain, muscle tension, high blood pressure, and also headaches or migraines.
Overwork or a very busy schedule can lead to sleepless nights and compromise your eating, which is either done too quickly or unhealthy. As a result, several other body processes are affected. Headaches are one of the most common side effects.
The so-called “eye strain” is an eye discomfort related to vision problems that haven’t been properly diagnosed. One of the symptoms, along with tired eyes and red eyes, is headaches.
The main cause of eye strain is improper focusing, which can be caused by problems such as myopia, farsightedness, or astigmatism. When you suffer from these disorders and do not correct them with the use of glasses or contact lenses, you have to “strain” your eyes during tasks that demand a lot of your vision.
Spending a long time reading, looking at a screen (computer, mobile phone, etc), or doing activities such as sewing or drawing can strain your eyes so much that it causes headaches or migraines.
The only way to determine if your frequent headache is being caused by eye strain is to see a doctor and have your vision checked. If you already wear glasses, make an appointment to check if you don’t need to change the prescription. And don’t forget to also shop frames for glasses that are suitable for the shape of your face.
3. Strong Aromas
Some people have the most sensitive senses, like that Marvel superhero. If it’s your case, your headaches may be caused by hypersensitivity to loud sounds, very bright lights, or strong smells or odors.
For the latter condition, there is even a specific name: osmophobia. Some people just can’t stand a strong perfume or the smell of paint, fuel, and other chemicals. And others are affected by the smell of cigarettes or smoke in general.
Exactly how these smells affect some people’s headaches are still being investigated. So it can be difficult to identify which scent is causing your pains.
But you can always look for patterns. Whenever a headache starts out of the blue, take a look at your surroundings. If the pain always starts when you are in certain locations, try to identify which particular things may be triggering them.
This is usually the last reason people consider during a headache, but certain hairstyles can also be the cause. Keep in mind that anything that puts pressure on your scalp increases the pain in that region.
One of the great villains is the ponytail. By straining the sensitive nerves of your scalp, this hairstyle can trigger frequent headaches and even develop violent migraines. Try letting your ponytail a little loose or abandon it completely if the pain persists.
Frequent use of hair bands and hair extensions can also cause some damage, especially when you wear them non-stop throughout the whole day.
5. Your Jaw
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ) is one of the most common, and ironically underdiagnosed, causes of headaches. It can be caused by worn cartilage, a misaligned jaw from tooth misalignment, frequent teeth grinding, and other similar injuries.
Your headaches are caused by TMJ when they are accompanied by symptoms such as:
- Chewing difficulty or pain when chewing.
- Ear pain when chewing.
- Click or pop when opening your mouth.
- Jaw feeling locked when opening or closing the mouth.
Massages or avoiding activities that can aggravate the problem (such as chewing gum) can relieve the pain. But only a doctor can evaluate the possibilities of correcting the disorder.
It Doesn’t Have To Be a Headache
Few sensations are as uncomfortable as a headache or migraine whose cause you don’t know and whose treatment seems impossible. Trying to identify possible triggers for the pain is the first step. In the end, the reason may be something you never imagined.
One way to identify whether your headaches are caused by one of the reasons mentioned above is to create a sort of journal. What happened the last time you were in pain? Where were you? What factors could have caused it?
By identifying patterns, you will also find out if you can avoid triggering factors that worsen your headaches, or if you should visit a doctor to help with treatment.