Don’t ignore that headache

BY ROSE RUTH AKONGO

The World Health Organisation (WHO) fact sheet published in April 2016 shows that the prevalence rate of headaches among adults is 50 percent yearly. Further more, the report reveals that only a minority of people with headaches are diagnosed by a professional health care provider.

It is a common habit for many people to ignore headaches without seeking medical attention.

The same WHO report indicates that there are various types of headaches. Headaches are usually characterised by throbbing on one side of the head; and in some cases there is nausea, blurry vision, partial loss of sight, seeing flashing lights, body weakness and sometimes loss of balance, especially among people who suffer from migraines. Headaches are usually a symptom of other diseases or body disorders, for example, dehydration.

That is why medical practitioners encourage frequent taking of water. But there could be various other causes. So it is vital to seek medical advice.

The causes of migraine headaches are mostly physiological. However, the triggers can arise from stress, depression, certain strong perfumes, bright flickering lights, sudden changes in weather and very noisy places. Dr Susan Nakambi, a doctor at Mulago Hospital, says that people with migraines are advised to consult the doctor before taking any medication for their ailment.

“Sometimes the patient may only be required to avoid noisy places, take their medication at the right time, and avoid alcohol or smoking in order to live a fruitful life and manage the migraine headache,” she said. According to Sandra Akello, a senior nurse at Mulago Hospital, migraines should not be ignored, however mild they may be.

“The easiest way of avoiding headaches in general and migraines in particular is regularly drinking water. However, one is still required to seek medical attention,” she said. She added that depression has also been found to trigger migraines, and so it is vital for one to have enough sleep in order to calm the body and mind.

“Sleep and rest ensure that the body is calm. Ensure that you get enough rest because lack of sleep can trigger a headache too,” she concluded.

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