‘Painkillers no panacea for headache’

Migraine headaches are common in female because of hormonal influences

Kathmandu, June 11

Taking painkillers to relieve headache is harmful to health, warn health practitioners, urging people suffering from episodes of headache to visit hospital.

To raise awareness about headache and its triggering factors, migraine and headache awareness month is being celebrated worldwide in June. According to World Health Organisation, it has been estimated that almost half of the adult population have had a headache at least once in the last one year.

An article by Kedar Manandhar and his team published in ‘The Journal of Headache and Pain in 2016’, revealed that from among 2,100 participants, 1,794 reported headaches. Of the total participants, 689 were male and 1,105 female.

The research also found that all aspects of symptom burdens — frequency, intensity and duration were greater among females.

“Migraine headaches are more common in female because of hormonal influences. It is more common in women of reproductive age (15-45 years). Women taking oral pills are also found to be suffering from headaches,” said Khem Raj Bhusal, a consultant physician at Green City Hospital, Basundhara.

Migraine is characterised by recurrent attacks of moderate to severe headache.

The pain is either throbbing or pulsating. One side of the head may ache or the pain may persist on both sides. There are medications available for migraine headache, according to the doctor.

Migraines can exacerbate during menstruation. Light, photo-sensitivity, sound, dairy products, chocolate, odours and cheese can also exacerbate migraine.

Nausea and vomiting are common during migraines.

Instead of taking medicines without prescription it is advised to visit medical practitioners as there are various causes for headaches.

Headaches could be due to refractive eye problem, stress or sleeplessness, said the doctor.