3 surprising causes of headache
Headaches are only an occasional irritation for some people, but for many others they are both chronic and painful. If you suffer from them on a daily basis, you may be interested to learn more about your headache causes and why they keep returning. Here are three reasons that may surprise you.
When someone says they know the weather is changing because they have a headache it might invoke an exaggerated eye roll or two, but the fact is that some people are more prone to weather-related headaches. Pressure changes may trigger chemical or electrical reactions that cause irritation in the nerves and lead to a headache. Bright sunlight and extreme temperature fluctuations can cause a similar reaction.
To find out if you are affected, try to monitor daily reports to see if there are specific factors that coincide with your headache pain. Take preventative action to help ward off the onset of this type of headache by avoiding being out in the weather, taking medication at the first sign of a headache, or at the onset of the weather change to help avoid one altogether. Specific weather triggers may include:
- Harsh sunlight
- Increased humidity
- Heavy gray clouds and stormy weather
- Barometric pressure changes
- Extreme hot or cold temperatures
Headaches may also follow prolonged periods of stress. Heavy workloads, relationship problems or financial difficulties are all potential factors that can lead to a tension headache.
Interestingly, these headaches may occur just as you begin to relax. This is because your stress hormone levels have dropped, causing a sudden and quick release of neurotransmitters in the brain. This rapid chemical change can cause a stress-related headache.
Temporomandibular joint disorders, or more simply, TMJ, are known to cause chronic headaches for millions of sufferers. Sometimes the direct cause of TMJ is difficult to discover, but there are many indicators that are thought to be directly linked to TMJ pain and dysfunction. TMJ headaches usually include not just the head, but also the neck, shoulder, jawbone and facial muscles. TMJ symptoms may be caused by many issues, including:
- A misaligned bite
- Bruxism, or teeth grinding
- Uneven dentistry
- Habitual jaw clenching