Dr.K.O.Paulose FRCS DLO, Consultant ENT Surgeon, Jubilee Hospital, Trivandrum, Kerala, India.
A common question always patients ask when they come to clinic. As an ENT Surgeon I see lot of patients with overlapping symptoms of sinus headache , tension headache and migraine headache.
Some times one cannot tell difference between a migraine and a tension-type headache. Both can occur at irregular intervals. Also, in rare cases, both can occur daily or almost daily. Some time these three conditions co exist.
What causes migraine headaches
Although fatigue and stress can bring on both tension and migraine headaches, migraines can be triggered by certain foods, changes in the body\’s hormone levels, changes in sleep pattern and even changes in the weather.
There also are differences in how types of headaches respond to treatment with medicines. Although some over-the-counter drugs used to treat tension-type headaches sometimes help migraine headaches, the drugs used to treat migraine attacks do not work for tension-type headaches for most people.
The exact cause of migraine is not fully understood. Most researchers think that migraine is due to abnormal changes in levels of substances that are naturally produced in the brain. When the levels of these substances increase, they can cause inflammation. This inflammation then causes blood vessels in the brain to swell and press on nearby nerves, causing pain.
Genes also have been linked to migraine. People who get migraines may have abnormal genes that control the functions of certain brain cells.
Experts do know that people with migraines react to a variety of factors and events, called triggers. These triggers can vary from person to person and don\’t always lead to migraine.
and Lack of or too much sleep
and Skipped meals
and Bright lights, loud noises, or strong odors
and Hormone changes during the menstrual cycle
and Stress and anxiety, or relaxation after stress
and Weather changes
and Alcohol -often red wine
and Caffeine (too much or withdrawal) Chocolates, Coco, coffee, cheese and coloring agents like bakery items (5″C”)
and Foods that contain nitrates, such as hot dogs and lunch meats
and Foods that contain MSG (monosodium glutamate), a flavor enhancer found in fast foods, broths, seasonings, and spices
and Foods that contain tyramine, such as aged cheeses, soy products, fava beans, hard sausages, smoked fish, and red wine