Although there are millions of Americans who suffer from debilitating episodic or chronic headaches, many people feel they are alone in the suffering. There are hundreds of headache support groups in large cities or online where you can go to find out how other people with the same types of headaches as you are able to manage their day to day lives.
Headaches are not all created equally, and somebody who suffers from chronic tension headaches may not be able to communicate effectively with a migraineur (someone who suffers migraine headaches). It is important, therefore, to determine which type of headache you have in order to find the right support group.
The vast majority of headaches are tension type headaches. Approximately 90 percent of the population will develop some sort of tension headache at some point in their lives. Headaches fall into two broad categories:
Most people suffer from episodic tension headaches, meaning they occur infrequently, with no more than 15 headaches in a 30-day span. Headaches that occur more frequently, or regularly, are classified as chronic. It is primarily the chronic tension headache sufferers that look for a support group.
The second most common headache type, but probably the most famous, is the migraine headache. Around 28 percent of the population suffers from migraine headaches. Migraines are especially debilitating and cause migraineurs to miss a lot of work time.
Migraine headaches are usually unilateral and may last from four to 72 hours. Other symptoms of migraine headaches include:
- Sinus pressure
- Sensitivity to light and noise
Many migraineurs feel that their pain and suffering is misunderstood by dentists and employers alike. A support group can help you find ways to manage your headaches and provide a sounding board for social frustrations related to being a migraineur.
Arguably the most painful type of headache is the cluster headache. These headaches come on strong and appear in a cyclical nature. They may last for one or more hours and can disappear as suddenly as they started. They frequently come back several times per episode.
Other symptoms of cluster headaches include:
- Eye pain
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Red or tearing eyes
Although cluster headache sufferers make up less than one percent of the population, they seem to be in the most need for support. The pain of a cluster headache is thought to be the most excruciating pain that people can manage. Finding out how other people deal with the pain may be important to discovering ways to reduce or minimize the intensity when your next headache strikes.
Regardless of the type of headache you suffer, there is a support group you can join and commiserate with fellow sufferers. The National Headache Foundation can get you in touch with just the right group for you either on line or in a community near you.
If you suffer from migraine headaches, tension headaches, chronic headaches, or cluster headaches, contact Think Better Life at 1-800-865-6468. Dr. Ira L. Shapira and his team can not only help you with treatment but with support to deal with your headaches.