Headaches happen to everyone. However, its prevalence is slightly higher among women and the elderly. In the fourth episode of SKF’s ‘Headaches with Headaches’ program organized on the occasion of ‘Migraine and Headache Awareness Week’, they discussed their headaches in detail.
The topic of this episode was ‘Headaches in Women and the Elderly’.
Dr. M. Amir Hossain, Assistant Professor of Neurology at the National Institute of Neuroscience and Hospital. The program was broadcast live on September 9 simultaneously from Prothom Alo’s Facebook page, YouTube channel, and SKF’s Facebook page.
A basic understanding of the head and headache is given at the beginning of the discussion. The entire head goes from the eyebrows to the hair roots at the back. The blood vessels of the brain inside the head, membranes or meninges, bones, sinuses, muscles, and skin—these are the sources of headaches.
That is, the problem with any one of these is the cause of the headache. There are two types of headaches. Primary and secondary. Primary headaches have no specific cause. This category includes tension and migraine headaches.
Secondary headaches can have many causes. Such as fever, any infection, trauma, brain tumour, stroke, etc. Apart from this, headaches can also be caused by any other disease or inflammation in the body.
Women are more commonly affected by anxiety, headaches, and migraines. Women suffer from migraines more than men. Statistics show that 1 in 15 men and 1 in 5 women suffer from migraines.
Apart from this, headaches can occur due to various complications during pregnancy. Preeclampsia is a condition during pregnancy where blood pressure increases. At this time, blood vessels or veins may become blocked. These can cause headaches.
Apart from this, there are many hormonal changes in the bodies of pregnant women. If there is a pre-existing problem in the brain, this sudden change is more likely to exacerbate it.
As the tumour enlarges, the blood flow to the arteriovenous malformation or vascular entanglement may also increase. In general, women’s primary and secondary headaches are the same as everyone else’s, and the pain increases during pregnancy.
In such problems, doctors treat both painkillers and preventives. Doctors administer medicine to the patient in both cases, ensuring it does not harm the baby.
Pain is treated with paracetamol, a class of painkillers, along with emetics. And in preventive treatment, propranolol, calcium chain blockers, and imitriptylone-like drugs are given in low doses. However, pregnant women will not get headaches if they keep their blood pressure under control in addition to being worry-free.
Also, in the postpartum state, after a special cesarean section delivery, the brain’s cerebrospinal fluid, or CSF, decreases, causing less pressure on the head. This can also cause headaches. At this time, doctors advise the patient to sleep without a pillow and drink more water.
Most headaches in childhood are at the primary level. However, secondary headaches increase with age. Pain on both sides of the forehead in older people may be temporal arteritis, which is inflammation of the blood vessels in the brain.
Sometimes there may be a pain like lightning on one side of the face. Doctors refer to this condition as trigeminal neuralgia. Again, neck pain can cause headaches. Apart from this, high blood pressure, stroke, tumors, and side effects of any medicine are very common causes of headaches in elderly people.
It is not true that primary headaches do not occur in older people. But his style is different from the younger ones. For example, in the case of migraine pain, headaches are predominant at a young age. But as age increases, exceptional symptoms like blurred vision, dizziness, and some parts of the body holding a limp are more common in addition to headaches.
Brain tumours were also discussed in the program. Because older people have a higher risk of developing brain tumors, Severe headache, nausea, or vomiting with pain; if the pain increases when walking or working; if the pain changes when changing positions; if the pain is worse in the morning; as well as convulsions or paralysis on one side of the body, then definitely go to the doctor for an examination. will be
Older people are also more prone to stroke. When a blood vessel in the brain is blocked or torn, it causes a stroke. As a result, the individual experiences an unusually intense pain in the head.
In the case of such a headache, a CT scan should be done to confirm whether the patient has had a stroke or not. A CT scan should be performed only on elderly patients with headaches. And if there is pain due to erosion of the cheekbones or neck bone, an X-ray should be done.
It is important to always take any type of headache in the elderly seriously. And if any kind of problem, like a headache, occurs, the doctor should be consulted immediately.
Dr. at the end of the program. M. Amir Hussain answered many headache-related questions from the audience.
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