Nausea & Headaches – Are They Related?

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2007
Mar 15

Headaches can be extremely difficult to deal with. While many who people suffer from a headache are able to treat it with over-the-counter medications, these medications do not always work for everyone. In addition, some people may find that their headaches are accompanied by other symptoms, including headaches. Not all headaches can produce nausea, however.

To understand the relationship between nausea and headaches, it is important to understand something about the different types of headaches. Two of the most common types of headaches are tension headaches and migraine headaches. Tension headaches are headaches that can occur periodically or daily. These typically feel like a constant pain or tightness around the forehead or on the back of the neck and the head. A tension headache can last as little as thirty minutes, or as long as several days. The more frequently a person experiences a tension headache, the more severe those tension headaches tend to be. Tension headaches can have a variety of causes, including poor posture, anxiety, hunger, fatigue, exertion, or insufficient rest. Tension headaches can lead to irritability, fatigue, sensitivity to sounds and light, and difficulty sleeping or concentrating. Tension headaches typically do not lead to nausea.

Migraine headaches, however, do tend to be related to nausea. A migraine will typically present itself as an intense pain on one or both sides of the head. Often, it is in the front of the head around one eye or one ear. The causes of migraines are not as clear as the causes of tension headaches. Some theories suggest that migraines are caused by a problem with the flow of blood in the brain. Others claim that migraines are caused by chemical changes in the brain that affect blood vessels. Migraines tend to affect people that have a family history of having migraines, and who are between 15 and 55 years of age. Migraines often become less severe as a person gets older. In addition to nausea, migraines may affect a person’s vision, creating blind spots or temporary vision loss.

If you have a headache that is accompanied by nausea, you should probably contact your health care provider to see if you are having migraine headaches. She may be able to help diagnose and treat your migraines.