Pain pounding at your temples can stop you in your tracks, make you grouchy and interfere with keeping up with your healthy lifestyle. To avoid headaches you need to avoid some common but unexpected triggers. WebMD has compiled a list a five surprising headache causes and here are highlights:
- Perfume: Strong odors may activate the nose’s nerve cells, which stimulate the nerve system associated with head pain. Ironically, the offending scents are often pleasant. To remedy the situation look for scent-free products and when a perfume-induced headache strikes try aspirin or acetaminophen, but avoid pain relievers with caffeine.
- Weather: Studies show that the headache prone are especially attuned to changes in barometric pressure, rising temperatures, high humidity, lightning, and cloudy skies. The meteorological shifts are thought to trigger chemical and electrical changes in the brain that irritate nerves — sometimes causing fairly dramatic pain. Try ice packs or take pain reliever before predicted weather changes.
- Earrings, headbands, and ponytails: The muscle groups around your scalp don’t have pain fibers, but their connective tissues do. “Ponytail headaches” result when tightly pulled hair irritates the muscle system. And your swingy up-do isn’t the only thing contributing to your pain: Tight-fitting hats, headbands, and heavy earrings are also culprits.
There are two more reasons – one involves your belly and the other involves your sex life. Curious to see how these can cause headaches? Then read more.
- Hunger: There’s a reason some nutrition gurus recommend that we eat several small meals a day: It keeps our blood sugar on an even keel. Dieting, fasting, skipping lunch — they all can cause you to bottom out, which may trigger a headache. Experts believe low blood sugar may stimulate nerve pathways that bring on these common headaches, but the exact mechanism is murky. Eating sugar on an empty stomach may cause a headache, too. So if you are hungry and have a headache, don't reach for Skittles, eat some healthy, filling foods.
- Sex: “Coital headaches” can occur during foreplay or right before orgasm. Marked by a general head pain, these headaches typically last from a few minutes to an hour. It’s probably a type of “exertion headache.” During arousal, the culprit is likely pressure building up in the head and neck muscles. And orgasm sometimes requires a lot of “work.” Running, coughing, sneezing, even straining during a bowel movement, can lead to similar pain, although those activities are generally not as fun as getting it on!