More than 40 percent of those of us with fibromyalgia suffer with various types of headaches. They can be very debilitating and render us pretty much useless for the duration. Some headaches we can push through and some we definitely can’t.
I remember the first time I experienced a cluster headache soon after my fibromyalgia diagnosis. I didn’t know it had a name. I just called it an eye headache. It starts behind one of your eyes and affects that side of your head. It’s incredibly uncomfortable and sometimes I get a bit of relief by covering up that eye with my hand. Of course, I also use a pain medication.
I’ve never had a migraine, but I know lots of people who do. Along with the intense pain, you experience nausea and/or vomiting. Lights or sounds may contribute to the extreme pain. Some people have strange visual disturbances, including blind spots, blurred vision, flashing lights, and zig-zaging lines, also known as aura.
Migraines are believed to be caused by abnormal activation of the central nervous system that leads to the narrowing and inflammation of the blood vessels in your head. They can last from a few hours to a few days.
Headaches caused from TMJ occur in front of the ear and temple region. They are associated with jaw and facial pain. They can be aggravated by prolonged chewing, yawning, and for me, keeping my mouth forced open for an hour or more while I’m having dental work done. If you tend to clench your jaw, the pressure put on your jaw is not good. You may want to consider getting a soft mouth guard.
Tension headaches can occur as the result of a variety of reasons. Stress can cause tightness and muscle spasms in the neck, shoulders, and upper back, which often results in a headache. Being exposed to strong chemicals and fragrances, such as cleansers and perfumes, also can trigger a headache.
With SINUS headaches you often feel pressure around the eyes, cheeks, and forehead. At times it can be the result of a sinus infection, which requires antibiotics and a doctor’s care. The pain is caused by pressure and congestion in the sinus cavity.
Upward of 40% of people with fibromyalgia get headaches. Flares can bring on headaches. Some research has shown that headaches, in general, may be more common in those who have fibromyalgia and who also struggle with depression, anxiety, sleep disturbance and tenderness around the outside of their head.
Headaches are no fun, no matter what kind they are. Am I right?
I get all the types listed above, with the exception of migraines. How about you? Click on the link to take the headache test.
Note: Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Fibromyalgia News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to fibromyalgia.