New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Headache has been one of the most common problems faced by many of us and the one that is notorious for pushing the sufferer into the pit of pain and inability to perform even to half of his/her abilities. However, a lot of misconceptions surround the headache, leading to a heightened consumption of pain killers and over-the-counter drugs. As part of Jagran New Media’s Jagran Dialogues series, Subhasish Dutta, Deputy Editor, Jagran New Media and Urvashi Kapoor, Associate Editor, Jagran New Media spoke with Dr. Himank Goyal and Dr Abhishek Juneja, Consultant Neurologists, Maharaja Agrasen Hospital, New Delhi.

Below are the excerpts from the interview:

Question: How the migraine headache is different from other headaches?

Dr Abhishek Juneja: A migraine is a unique form of headache which is much more common in women than men. It’s basically the type of headache found in the reproductive age group, generally found in 15-45 age group of women. It may involve half or full or front or back of the part. The unique characteristic of this headache is the type of pain. Generally, the pain is throbbing or pulsating. The pain feels as if some nerve has burst out in the head. Patients explain it as someone is hammering their head. Generally, it responds well to pain killers and sleeps. The more important thing we need to know about migraine is that it is a triggered headache. Common triggers are lack of sleep, skipping meals, stress, caffeine, alcohol, junk food, prolonged screen time. So if these triggers are avoided then we can definitely prevent facing these. So common people must seek medical opinion since it’s the most common type of headache.

Question: What lifestyle changes must be included to stay away from headaches?

Dr Abhishek Juneja: I believe this is the most important question. A good doctor is the one who treats your ill with the pill but the best doctor is the one who treats your illness without a pill. Once we know that the headaches are triggered and we know what the triggers are. Then the best prevention is to avoid these triggers and to not rely on medicines. All the triggers need to be avoided. You must control your stress. You must stay close to your stress busters. Your stress-buster may be anything from talking to a friend, shopping, reading a book; anything that keeps you distracted and keeps your stress levels in check.

Question: Have the instances of headaches amongst people increased following the COVID-19 infection? If yes then what are the major reasons behind it?

Dr Abhishek Juneja: The frequency of headaches following COVID-19 infection is very high. The headache that follows COVID-19 infection generally is indeed a stress headache and expectedly so. There is too much of medical information in the public domain about the serious effects of COVID-19 such as Black Fungus, stroke. This apprehension of getting serious complications following COVID-19 is the root cause of stress headaches. This can be felt in the entire head. It is generally associated with insomnia. The only solution to this is the management of stress. The only cure is controlling the stress levels. And for that matter, you must consult your neurologist or psychologist.

Question. For the treatment of headaches, people tend to go for over-the-counter pills. What all are the options of the treatment for headaches that are available. Is there any other treatment apart from the medication?

Dr Himank Goyal: First of all, the patients must be told about stressors, that is the causes of stress and work must be done to control those. Then we come to the changes in lifestyle. But sometimes the severity of headaches is too much that despite these precautions the headache doesn’t remit. In that situation the medication becomes necessary. But it is never recommended to go for over-the-counter analgesics or pain killers. Because they have an adverse effect on kidney and heart-like vital organs if taken for longer durations in different dosages without a doctor’s prescription. Generally, if the headache is taking place more than once a week then there must begin the use of prophylactics. Prophylactics are those medicines if taken for a certain duration then we may decrease the frequency of painkillers taken. So there are different prophylactics that are taken.

Watch the full interview:

Posted By: Mukul Sharma