Reader’s Mail: Daily Headache May Be Migraine Variant

Q. I feel like every afternoon around the same time I experience a burning sensation that begins at the right side of my forehead and crosses to the left side. It surrounds my eyebrows and eyelids. It’s not dissimilar from the sensation of sunburn, but the best way to describe it is tightness in the forehead. It can cause my eyelids to burn and swell and exacerbate my dry-eye problem. At times, I experience a sharp dagger-like pain in my right eye and under the brow bone. The whole thing lasts about three hours. A CT scan of my sinuses was clear.

Is this description consistent with cluster headaches? Continue Reading


Migraine

More than 37 million Americans suffer from migraine. This vascular headache is most commonly experienced between the ages of 15 and 55, and 70% to 80% of sufferers have a family history of migraine. Less than half of all migraine sufferers have received a diagnosis of migraine from their healthcare provider. Migraine is often misdiagnosed as sinus headache or tension-type headache.

Many factors can trigger migraine attacks, such as alteration of sleep-wake cycle; missing or delaying a meal; medications that cause a swelling of the blood vessels; daily or near daily use of medications designed for relieving headache attacks; bright lights, sunlight, fluorescent lights, TV and movie viewing; certain foods; and excessive noise. Stress and/or underlying depression are important trigger factors that can be diagnosed and treated adequately. Continue Reading



Travel on Airplanes Brings Painful Headaches

Researchers from two hospitals in Italy have been studying what they call “airplane headache” (AH) and recommend that the disorder be included in the next update to the International Headache Society classification. Such a move, the authors say, would bring more studies and better understanding of AH and how it might be prevented.

In recent years, these authors have followed 75 people who contacted them about experiencing AH and have developed a profile of the painful disorder. Continue Reading