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Stinging in the head: 8 causes (and what to do)


Stinging in the head usually occurs due to poor sleep, excess stress, tiredness, dehydration or colds, most of the time being indicative of a migraine or tension headache, for example.

However, pain in the head can also be a symptom of more serious situations, such as a stroke, aneurysm or the presence of a brain tumor, for example.

Therefore, when the headaches are persistent, frequent or do not go away even with the use of medication, it is important to consult a neurologist or general practitioner to investigate the cause and begin the most appropriate treatment.

Main causes

The main causes of headaches are:

1. Tension headache

Tension headache, also called tension headache, can also cause stitches in the head and usually occurs due to poor posture, anxiety, insomnia, difficulty sleeping or stress.

Typically, the pain occurs in the forehead, but it can also affect the temples and even the neck area. Furthermore, the pain is not usually accompanied by other symptoms such as vomiting or nausea.

What to do: Pain can usually be relieved through relaxation techniques, such as massage or hot baths, to ease tension.

However, if the headaches are persistent or frequent, it is important to consult a neurologist or general practitioner for an evaluation and to initiate appropriate treatment, which may involve medications such as ibuprofen or amitriptyline. Learn more about how to relieve tension headaches.

2. Migraine

Headaches caused by migraines usually occur on just one side of the head and are more common in case of stress, excess or lack of sleep or after consuming certain foods, such as chocolate or wine.

In addition to stitches, other symptoms such as changes in vision, nausea, vomiting, changes in sleep and sensitivity to some smells may occur in the case of a migraine.

What to do: To treat migraines and control the pain, the doctor may recommend measures such as relaxation techniques, psychotherapy, eating regularly, exercising frequently and sleeping.

However, if a migraine is suspected, it is important to consult a neurologist or general practitioner to confirm the diagnosis and initiate appropriate treatment, and the use of medications such as ibuprofen, sumatriptan or topiramate may be indicated to control the attacks. Discover some treatment options for migraines.

3. Caffeine withdrawal

When you suddenly stop drinking coffee, it is common to experience symptoms caused by caffeine withdrawal, such as headaches, tiredness, difficulty concentrating, mood changes and difficulty thinking. Check out other withdrawal symptoms.

Symptoms tend to begin 12 to 24 hours after a person last drank coffee and can persist for up to 9 days in some cases.

What to do: drinking coffee usually improves headaches due to caffeine withdrawal. However, if you want to stop drinking coffee, it is recommended to gradually reduce consumption to avoid withdrawal symptoms.

Especially if symptoms are persistent, it is recommended to consult a neurologist to confirm the diagnosis. Sometimes, the doctor may recommend the use of painkillers, such as paracetamol and ibuprofen, to relieve the headache.

4. Cluster headache

A cluster headache is a type of headache that causes a stabbing sensation in the head, usually on just one side. It may also be accompanied by other symptoms, such as facial redness and tearing and/or eye pain. Understand better what cluster headache is.

What to do: If a cluster headache is suspected, it is recommended to seek emergency care. Typically, headaches and other symptoms improve with the use of a 100% oxygen mask in times of crisis.

Furthermore, it is important to consult a neurologist to confirm the diagnosis and initiate appropriate treatment, in order to avoid new crises.

5. High blood pressure

Some people may have headaches when the pressure is very high, especially above 180 x 120 mmHg, which may indicate a hypertensive crisis. In more serious cases, mental confusion, changes in vision and seizures, for example, may also arise. See the symptoms of hypertensive crisis.

What to do: Blood pressure should be measured to confirm whether the pressure is high. It is recommended to seek an emergency room, especially if the pressure is above 180 x 120 mmHg, and the use of antihypertensive drugs may be indicated to lower the pressure.

Furthermore, it is important to consult a cardiologist within the next few days for an evaluation and check the need to use antihypertensives daily or make adjustments to the doses of medications already used.

6. AVC

Cerebrovascular accidents or strokes usually occur due to a decrease in blood flow to the brain or bleeding from vessels inside, which can cause a sudden and intense pain in the head.

In addition, other symptoms generally also occur, such as fainting, changes in vision, loss of sensitivity in a part of the body and difficulty in lifting the arm or picking up an object. Check out other stroke symptoms.

What to do: If a stroke is suspected, it is recommended to go to an emergency room for an evaluation, because adequate identification and treatment help prevent more serious sequelae.

7. Aneurisma cerebral

A cerebral aneurysm corresponds to the dilation of a blood vessel that carries blood to the brain and which can cause headaches, as well as double vision, confusion, nausea, vomiting and fainting, for example. Find out everything about brain aneurysm.

What to do: If an aneurysm is suspected, it is important to consult a neurologist for an evaluation and, when the diagnosis is confirmed, treatment begins, which is carried out in accordance with the doctor's instructions and the characteristics of the aneurysm.

Typically, when the aneurysm is small, the doctor may choose not to perform any specific treatment due to the low risk of bleeding. However, when the aneurysm is large and/or is associated with a greater risk of bleeding, the doctor may recommend surgery.

8. Brain tumor

A brain tumor can occur due to genetic changes or due to the metastasis of other types of cancer and can cause symptoms depending on the location of the tumor, which can cause pain in the head, changes in touch, weakness, tingling in the body and imbalance. , for example.

What to do: If you suspect a brain tumor, it is recommended that you consult a neurologist or general practitioner for tests to be carried out and the diagnosis confirmed. When confirmed, treatment of the tumor may involve its removal through surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, depending on its location, type and size. Understand how brain tumor treatment is carried out.