We’ve all been there; you’re enjoying a day with friends or working away on that complex project, and suddenly, wham! Out of nowhere, you’re hit with a horrific headache.
According to the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study, headache disorders are among the most pervasive and disabling conditions globally. What’s more, the actual cause of this pain can be difficult to pinpoint. Trying to figure out the root cause of your headache can be frustrating, and some don’t even try. However, if you’re like most, you’ve probably taken your complaint to a medical professional, asking, ‘Why do I keep getting headaches?’.
Often, a medical assistant will be the first one to greet you in your doctor’s office and can provide valuable input and helpful insight into your symptoms. In this article, we’ll discuss eight common explanations for when a patient informs a medical assistant that he gets headaches.
A common explanation when a patient informs a medical assistant that he gets headaches is a concussion. This is a mild traumatic brain injury caused by a head bump, blow, or jolt. It is often caused by an impactful force, such as being hit by a person or with an object, but does not always require a direct impact to the head – you can experience a concussion from a force that causes your head to move rapidly.
When a person experiences a concussion, they may experience physical, cognitive, emotional, and sleep-related symptoms that can last for days, weeks, or even months. In addition to headaches, common signs and symptoms include;
- Memory loss
- Difficulty concentrating
- Sensitivity to light
- Ringing in the ears, and more.
According to CDC estimates, 1.6 to 3.8 million people in the US sustain sports and recreation-related concussions yearly. It’s important to seek medical attention if you or a loved one has experienced a concussion and to report any symptoms to a medical professional.
A medical professional can help to diagnose a concussion by conducting a physical examination, neurological assessment, imaging tests (such as MRI or a CT scan), neuropsychological assessments, and other tests. It’s also important to look into any other underlying causes of the symptoms.
2. Eye Strain
Eye strain is another common explanation for when a patient informs a medical assistant that he gets headaches. Eye strain is caused by overusing or putting too much pressure on your eyes, such as staring at a computer screen or any other electronic device for too long.
According to a PubMed Central (PMC) study, more than 50% of computer users are affected by digital eye strain (DES), also known as computer vision syndrome. Symptoms can range from eye discomfort to headaches. The study found that 22.3% of respondents reported having headaches associated with the strain at least half the time.
You can do several things to reduce eye strain:
- Take regular breaks from screens and look away from your device for a few seconds every 20 minutes.
- You can also adjust your computer resolution, brightness, text size and color, and lighting to make viewing more comfortable.
- Additionally, ensure your eyes are properly examined to detect vision problems contributing to eye strain.
It’s important to remember that too much strain on your eyes is uncomfortable and can lead to long-term eye damage if left unchecked. That’s why you should seek advice from eye specialists if you experience any signs or symptoms of eye strain.
3. Poor Response to Surgery
Poor response to surgery is one of the potential explanations for when a patient informs a medical assistant that he gets headaches worth considering. If you’ve recently undergone a surgical procedure, you may be experiencing headaches due to the surgery and your body’s reaction to the anesthetic.
For example, some people experience headaches after breast augmentation surgery. The cause of these headaches could be the anesthetic used during the surgery due to its effects on the nervous system. In most cases, the symptoms will resolve independently; however, it’s possible to experience this type of headache days, weeks, or even months later. In these cases, it’s important to consult your breast augmentation surgeon to determine if the headaches result from the surgery or if other factors are at play.
According to a 2019 study in the British Medical Journal, up to 45.2% of patients experienced at least one postoperative complication after their surgery. Therefore, you should talk to your medical assistant if you experience any symptoms after surgery. They can evaluate the risks of any medications that may be causing the headaches and look out for signs of infection, nerve damage, or other problems that occur during surgery that can also cause headaches.
4. Lack of Hydration or Exercise
Lack of hydration or exercise can be a major explanation when a patient informs a medical assistant that he gets headaches. Dehydration is often caused by not consuming enough water or not consuming electrolytes – minerals responsible for muscle and brain function. Take, for example, a 2020 study in the Journal of Neuroscience which found that an increase in hydration due to more water intake led to a decrease in the severity, frequency, and duration of migraine headaches.
Drinking a lot of water and other fluids throughout the day is important, as it helps to properly maintain the levels of ions in your body’s cells. Staying hydrated can help flush out toxins, reduce inflammation, and relieve headaches.
Another explanation for when a patient informs a medical assistant that he gets headaches to consider is exercise. Exercise is an important factor in headache prevention. A 2018 Journal of Headache and Pain study concluded that regular exercise could have a preventive effect on the frequency of migraine headaches.
Regular exercise and relaxation can help in the following ways.
- Reduce stress levels, which is a common trigger for headaches.
- Improve blood flow, which can help to increase the rate of recovery from migraine and tension headaches.
- Strengthen the muscles that support the head and neck region.
Additionally, exercising boosts the release of endorphins in the body, which can positively affect any migraine condition that may be present.
Undoubtedly, personal fitness plays a major role in how we feel. If you want to prevent headaches, it’s essential to focus on proper hydration and exercise as part of an overall wellness routine.
5. Secondary Diagnoses
Secondary diagnoses refer to other coexisting conditions or illnesses that can cause headaches, such as depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, infections, or allergies. For example, a doctor might look into other possible diagnoses when diagnosing a patient with recurring headaches.
The headaches may be caused by a more serious underlying condition, such as oral cancer, which can often remain undetected until it’s too late and has more serious implications. In such situations, it’s important for physicians to ask the patient about any previous diagnosis and to also perform a detailed oral cancer screening as part of their examination. If a potential oral cancer is detected, the patient can undergo further tests and treatment if required.
Your doctor should also consider carrying out tests like X-rays, MRI scans, and CT scans to rule out any more serious conditions. A thorough physical examination of your neck, shoulder, and spine may be necessary to look for the underlying cause of the headache.
Overall, understanding the cause of your headache and discussing it with your medical assistant is the best way to treat and manage the problem accordingly.
6. Grinding Teeth or Jaw Clenching
Grinding teeth or jaw clenching, also known as bruxism, is another common explanation for when a patient informs a medical assistant that he gets headaches which can often come on unknowingly due to stress. Bruxism can lead to facial soreness, tension headaches, and wear down teeth over time. It’s estimated that 10% of American adults experience clenching or grinding of the teeth, often for extended periods without even realizing it.
The main symptom of grinding teeth is recurring or constant pain in the jaw, head, neck, and face. Dental exams may show that your teeth appear worn or chipped or your gums are receding or torn. You may also experience difficulty or pain when chewing and earaches due to the resulting tension in the jaw muscles.
Grinding and clenching of the teeth is often a sign of underlying stress, which can come from stressful environments, lifestyle choices, or issues with teeth alignment.
If your doctor suspects that you’re grinding your teeth, they’ll likely recommend the following:
- Lifestyle changes aimed at reducing stress, such as practicing relaxation techniques, meditation, and yoga, as well as getting sufficient sleep.
- Attending behavioral therapy.
- Wearing a nightguard to prevent further damage to your teeth and ease jaw discomfort.
In more serious cases, dental treatment is needed to restore any damage caused by bruxism. Health professionals may also advise medication for a short period to alleviate the pain and tension in the jaw.
7. Domestic Anxiety
Domestic anxiety is a term that describes stress and worry, often resulting from unresolved family issues or conflicts. This kind of stress can be an explanation for when a patient informs a medical assistant that he gets headaches.
One of the most common causes of domestic anxiety is an unresolved problem that worsens over time. This could be an unresolved argument with a spouse or something more serious such as domestic abuse. Talking to a qualified counselor or therapist can help to identify the underlying causes and provide ways to manage stress.
In some cases, our pets may also be a factor in triggering domestic anxiety. Many of us have pets that require veterinary service, and while this can be a rewarding and exciting experience, it can also be stressful. For instance, if your pet has to undergo surgery, worrying about the health and well-being of your pet, the financial cost of surgery, and ongoing domestic animal surgical care can be a great source of anxiety.
That’s why it’s crucial to have a plan for their treatment and financial care. Having a clear understanding of the cost and ensuring that you can provide the necessary care for your pet after the surgery can help reduce stress levels and alleviate the physical side effects of anxiety.
8. Financial Stress
Financial stress is another possible explanation for when a patient informs a medical assistant that he gets headaches. You may be worried about bills, debt, or being unable to make ends meet. This can place great stress and strain on you, leading to physical symptoms like headaches.
Getting to the root of the issue can be tough, and it’s worth talking with a financial planner or advisor to gain clarity on the best solutions for your situation. You may need to develop a budget or look for ways to save money.
In particular, medical billing for general surgery centers can often be confusing and overwhelming if you’ve undergone surgery. It can be hard to make sense of everything if you constantly uncover hidden fees or unexpected bills. It’s important to talk to your medical provider and ensure you understand your obligations’ full extent. They should be able to provide clear explanations and help you create a workable repayment plan.
Addressing any financial stress can help diminish the headaches they are causing. You can easily regain control and lead a happier, healthier life with a detailed plan!
We’re all familiar with the frustration of figuring out why we get headaches. At the end of the day, whatever the cause of your headaches may be, seeing a medical professional is key to getting to the bottom of the issue.
The medical professional will be able to investigate, diagnose, and treat the cause of your headaches. They may also give useful advice, such as changes in lifestyle, to help you reduce and manage headaches in the long term. Ultimately, don’t suffer in silence and seek help to alleviate this problem.
We hope this article provides some helpful ideas for when a patient informs a medical assistant that he gets headaches. Good luck in finding the cause and curing your headaches.