HealthyLife® Students' Self-Care Guide
Section I–Common Health Problems
Headaches are one of the most common health complaints, not just for college students, but for adults and even children.
Signs, Symptoms & Causes
Symptoms vary depending on the type of headache.
Most headaches are this type. Signs and symptoms:
Tension headaches are caused by tense or tight muscles in the face, neck, or scalp. You can get a tension headache from a number of things:
Migraine headaches happen when blood vessels in your head open too wide or close too tight. Signs and symptoms are:
After the headache, some people have a drained feeling with tired, aching muscles. Others feel great after the headache goes away.
Migraines can occur with or without an aura. An aura is symptoms a person experiences, such as spots or flashing lights, or numbness for 10 to 30 minutes prior to the headache. Ten percent of all migraines are this type; 90% occur without an aura.
Migraine headaches occur more often in females than in males and tend to run in families.
Certain things trigger migraine headaches in susceptible people. They include:
A sinus headache occurs when fluids in the nose aren’t able to drain well and a buildup of pressure occurs in the sinuses. A cold, allergies, dirty or polluted water, and airplane travel can cause a sinus headache. Signs and symptoms are:
A headache can be a symptom of other health conditions. Examples are allergies, depression (see signs and symptoms of depression), infections, and dental problems.
Self-care can be used for headaches caused by tension, fatigue, and/or stress. Over-the-counter Excedrin Migraine or prescribed medicines can be used to treat migraine headaches.
Biofeedback has helped many people who have suffered from headaches.
Headaches that are symptoms of health conditions are relieved when the condition is treated with success.
Questions to Ask
For Information, Contact:
National Headache Foundation
©2005, 6th edition. American Institute for Preventive Medicine All rights reserved.
March 21, 2007