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A secondary headache is a symptom of other diseases that can activate pain and sensitive nerves of the head. Varying greatly in headache severity, possible causes of secondary headaches include brain tumor, brain hemorrhage, blood clot (venous thrombosis), brain aneurysm (a bulge in an artery in the brain), brain inflammation and infection such as encephalitis and meningitis, traumatic brain injuries and abnormal intracranial pressure. Extracranial origin of secondary headaches include acute sinusitis, glaucoma (acute angle closure glaucoma), trigeminal neuralgia (inflammation of the trigeminal nerve at the jaw area) from root canal infections and the abnormalities of mandible bone. Different types of primary headaches manifest differently in pain characteristics, other related symptoms, pain duration and pain severity. The most common types of primary headaches are:
Migraines are a neurological disease characterized by recurrent moderate to severe headaches often in association with a number of autonomic nervous system symptoms and prodome which is notice subtle changes that warn of an upcoming migraine. One or two days before a migraine, prodome may include frequent yawning, weakness and food cravings especially sweets. Approximately 25% of cases experience “aura” that might occur before or during migraines. Auras are described as reversible symptoms of the nervous system. Examples of migraine aura include visual changes such as seeing bright spots or flashes of light, vision loss, pins and needles sensations in the hands, numbness around the lips and difficulty speaking. Some patients might also have weakness or numbness in the leg which is typically a temporary paralysis on one side of the body, known as hemiplegic migraine. Unique characteristic of migraine is pain that usually affects on one side of the head. It might radiate across another side. Pain is typically characterized as throbbing or pulsing sensation. The severity of pain is in the range of moderate to severe pain which walking and vibration of the head usually aggravate the symptoms. Resting with a stable position, cool temperature in darkened room greatly alleviates pain. If migraine is not treated, symptoms can last for 3 days. Other associated symptoms may include nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light, sound, or smell.
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