Medical specialists are doctors who have completed advanced education and training in a specific area of medicine A rheumatologist is a medical professional who specialises in diagnosing, treating and managing diseases of the joints, muscles and bones A general practitioner GP is a doctor who is also qualified in general medical practice. GPs are often the first point of contact for someone, of any age, who feels sick or has a health concern You have the right to ask a doctor for a second opinion if you are unsure about your doctor's suggested medical treatment or a diagnosis The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme PBS helps cover the cost of a wide range of prescription medicines, making them more affordable There are many health insurance providers on the market that offer a wide variety of healthcare plans The Translating and Interpreting Service TIS National is an Australian Government interpreting service for people who do not speak English and for organisations that need to speak with their non Primary healthcare is the first contact a person has with the health care system when they have a health problem.
This is usually your general practitioner GP or pharmacist Victoria has a diverse range of public and private hospitals in both metropolitan and regional centres Ask your doctor and healthcare providers what you will be charged for each new service, what is covered by Medicare and what is included in your healthcare plan Informed consent means having enough information about a medical procedure to decide whether to have it done There are laws that set out how healthcare professionals can collect and store your health information and when they are allowed to share it People can manage their arthritis using medication, physiotherapy, exercise and self management techniques Ankle sprain is a common sports injuries caused by overstretching and tearing the supporting ligaments The hip joint is complicated to allow a wide range of motion while still supporting the weight of the body A healthy, calcium-rich diet and regular physical activity throughout life can help prevent osteoporosis Farmer health, wellbeing and safety are often neglected when facing the pressures of harvest.
Simple safety measures can dramatically reduce the risk of injury and illness Migraine causes a severe and throbbing headache, usually on one side of the head, as well as symptoms such as nausea Pain is our bodies built in alarm system. Learn about types of pain, what is acute, persistent or chronic pain and and how to manage your pain Loss of memory can be temporary or permanent, but 'amnesia' usually refers to the temporary variety Hydrocephalus is the abnormal enlargement of the brain cavities ventricles caused by a build-up of cerebrospinal fluid Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is characterised by physical deterioration of the brain, dementia and walking difficulties This page has been produced in consultation with and approved by: Better Health Channel.
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Mental health services. Planning and coordinating healthcare. Pregnancy and birth services. A-Z A-Z. Conditions and treatments. Healthy living. Services and support. Service profiles. Blog Blog. Blog authors. Podcast Podcast. Headache Share show more. Listen show more. More show more. Headaches are very common, with around 15 per cent of Australians taking pain-relieving medication for headache at any given time.
There are different types of recurring headache and many causes, so it is important to seek diagnosis from a qualified health professional. Causes of headache can include stress, medications, diet, jaw problems, and illnesses of the eye, ear, nose and throat. Headache is one of the most common health-related conditions in Australia, with around 15 per cent of us taking pain-relieving medication for a headache at any given time. It is likely that nearly all of us will experience headache during our lifetime. People of any age can be affected, but people between the ages of 25 and 44 years are more likely to report having a headache.
There are different types of headache and many different causes, which explains why the condition is so common. Most headaches have more than one contributing factor. Some of the more common triggers for headache are lifestyle related, such as poor diet, stress, muscle tension, and lack of exercise.
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Serious underlying disorders, such as brain tumours, are rarely the cause of headache, although persistent headache should always be investigated by a doctor. Headache can be classified into two broad categories: primary and secondary. Examples of primary headache include cluster and tension headaches. Secondary headaches are triggered by an underlying disorder — such as infection, injury or a tumour — and are a side effect of the main illness.
Pain receptors and headache You feel pain when various structures of your head are inflamed or irritated. These structures include: the muscles and skin of the head the nerves of the head and neck the arteries leading to the brain the membranes of the ear, nose and throat the sinuses, which are air-filled cavities inside the head that form part of the respiratory system. An example is the referred pain of a headache arising from a sore neck.
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Headache caused by stress or tension Tension headache is the most common type of headache. Two out of three people will have at least one tension headache in their lifetime, which: feels like a tight band of pressure around the head is often associated with muscle tightness in the head, neck or jaw can be caused by physical or emotional stress is best treated by making lifestyle adjustments, such as exercise, diet, stress management and attention to posture.
Misalignments of the spine and neck, poor posture and muscle tension can refer pain into the head. Therapies to treat recurring headache caused by musculoskeletal problems may include osteotherapy, physiotherapy or chiropractic. Treatment may include correcting the bite, replacing missing teeth or using occlusal splints, which allow the jaw to close without dental interference. Surgery may be needed in severe cases. Tooth decay, dental abscesses and post-extraction infection can cause headache, as well as referred pain to the face and head, and these need to be professionally treated by a dentist.
Headache caused by infection Many infections of the nose, throat and ear can cause headache. Depending on the disorder, treatment can include medications such as antibiotics, decongestants or antihistamines. Persistent problems, such as chronic tonsillitis, may need surgery as a final resort. Consult with an ear, nose and throat specialist. Headache caused by diet and food According to some studies, what we eat and when we eat it can play a significant role in headache. Different causes of diet-related headache include: fluctuations in blood-sugar levels, which can lead to spasm of the arteries in the head caffeine withdrawal, commonly caused by regular and excessive consumption of coffee or tea food additives, such as MSG monosodium glutamate naturally occurring chemicals in foods, such as amines.
Some other foods can cause headache in susceptible people. It is important to seek professional help. Self-diagnosis of food sensitivities can result in unnecessary diets that may not work. This gives clues to the triggers of food-related headache. Healthcare professionals who may be able to help include a doctor, dietitian or naturopath. Eye problems and headache If a person has difficulties with their vision, such as long-sightedness, they tend to squint and strain their eye muscles in order to better focus their vision.
Eye diseases such as glaucoma can cause headache by referring pain into the structures of the head. Many of the eye problems that contribute to headache can be treated with prescription glasses or contact lenses. Talk to a qualified eye-care specialist such as an optometrist. Medications and headache Medications are designed for a particular target in the body, such as a diseased organ. However, they can also affect other areas in the body. Unwanted side effects or adverse reactions are possible with all medications, including prescription and over-the-counter medications, herbal preparations and vitamin pills.
Hormone replacement therapy HRT — also known as hormone therapy HT — makes headaches worse for some women. Some diabetes medications can also make headaches worse. Suggestions for reducing the risk of medication-induced headache include: Follow the dosage directions on the label. Avoid dependence on painkillers.
Report any side effects or unusual symptoms to your doctor immediately. If you believe that medications may be giving you recurring headache, it is important to consult with your doctor. In many cases, a different medication can be prescribed. A comprehensive headache classification guide was established by the International Headache Society and includes more than headache categories. Based on research, a practical headache classification divides headaches into two main categories primary and secondary headaches.
Primary headaches are those that are not the result of another medical condition.
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The category includes tension-type, migraine, and cluster headaches. Secondary headaches, or those that result from another medical or neurological condition, include sinus headaches , medication overuse headaches, or headaches that occur because of an infection, disease of the blood vessels in the brain, head injury, trauma, or more serious condition such as a tumor. Yes, headaches, especially migraines, have a tendency to run in families.
Children who have migraines usually have at least one parent who also suffers from the condition. Stress , pollution, noise, lighting, and weather changes are other environmental factors that can trigger headaches for some people.
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People with migraines may inherit abnormalities in certain areas of the brain, as well as the tendency to be affected by certain migraine triggers, such as fatigue, bright lights, weather changes, and others. Headache pain results from signals interacting among the brain, blood vessels, and surrounding nerves. During a headache, specific nerves of the blood vessels are activated and send pain signals to the brain. A migraine begins when overactive nerve cells send out impulses to the blood vessels. This causes the release of prostaglandins, serotonin, and other substances that cause swelling of the blood vessels in the vicinity of the nerve endings, resulting in pain.
Headaches that occur suddenly acute onset are usually caused by an illness, infection, cold , or fever. Other conditions that can cause an acute headache include sinusitis inflammation of the sinuses , pharyngitis inflammation or infection of the throat , or otitis ear infection or inflammation. In some cases, the headaches may be the result of a blow to the head trauma or, rarely, a sign of a more serious medical condition.