When you should visit your doctor about headaches.

He is always surprised that many of his patients report frequent headaches when asked but never bring them up otherwise. “Some people just live with it.”

Tension headaches, sinus headaches and migraine headaches are among the most common varieties.

Tension headaches affect 30 to 70 per cent of the population, said Nauman Tariq, director of the Headache Center at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore. These are usually mild and can be alleviated with non-prescription pain relievers.

Migraine headaches affect 12 to 27 per cent of people, Tariq said. These range in severity and frequency, “from two headaches a year to daily headaches,” he said. Over-the-counter drugs are used for migraines, as are prescription drugs such as the triptan group of medications including Imitrex, Zomig and Maxalt.

Sinus headaches are a result of excess mucus in nasal passages and are typically associated with allergies, colds or flu. Antihistamines or decongestants can relieve the pressure and pain.

Source: Toronto Star. Click here for rest of article.

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