A headache on the left side of the head is quite alarming, in cases if the cause is unknown.
But having depth knowledge of the various types of headaches helps you to get proper treatment and also explains the causes of a headache on the left side of the head.
Nearly 50% of adults around the world suffer from headaches.
Mostly, they are labeled as primary headaches, since there is no underlying condition or injury.
Only some types of headaches might be caused due to something serious.
It is necessary to be aware of the symptoms and know the difference between a serious condition and a primary headache.
In this article, the causes, symptoms, and treatments of various types of headaches that occur a headache on the left side of the head are thoroughly discussed.
Some Quick Facts about Headaches:
Many primary headaches might only cause pain on the left side.
Many common causes are not that serious; hence they are easy to treat.
Knowing the symptoms and headache causes, including primary ones that occur on the left side, can help to separate them from even serious conditions.
Most of the headaches that occur on the left side are not for serious conditions; in many circumstances, there can be an underlying condition.
A few headaches on the left side might be occurring because of an even severe underlying condition.
Types of Primary Headache
Primary headaches are responsible for the pain on left side of head:
- Cluster headaches
- Tension headache
Some underlying conditions that might cause a headache on the left side of the head LIKE:
- Certain injuries
- Related to blood vessels
- Overuse of medicines
Symptoms and Causes of Primary Headache
The symptoms and causes of primary headache are discussed below.
A headache on the left side of the head could be because of migraines.
Migraines are known to affect almost 12% of people living in the United States and are common in women compared to men.
Migraines are often labeled as a type of severe headache, which causes a throbbing headache.
To confirm whether it’s a migraine, the symptoms below can come in handy:
- Visual changes
- Vomiting and nausea
- A feeling of dizziness
- High sensitivity to smell, light, sound, touch, etc.
- A feeling of numbness, or a sensation of tingling in the face
- A migraine may last from 4 to 73 hours. You may feel like lying down if you have a migraine.
Although the cause of migraine is not fully understood, it is thought that the nerves/blood vessels around the brain become much more sensitive.
Common migraine triggers are:
- Foods like cheese, chocolate, or alcohol.
- A change in hours of sleeping
- Flickering lights, or lights which are bright
- The prolonged period of exposure to loud noise
- The smell of certain perfumes
A tension headache is often linked to stress; it might induce a severe headache behind eyes or the left side.
42% of headaches that occur worldwide are known to be tension headaches.
Tension headaches occur on one of the sides of the head and might be the reason for a headache on the left side of your head.
Although tension headaches are not that much likely to be one-sided, compared to migraines.
Although tension headaches tend to be less severe, it still can cause a considerable amount of pain.
- A pressing pain that begins from behind one of the eyes and radiates to the back of your head and also across your forehead
- The feeling of the head being in a vice
- Tight shoulder and neck muscles
- Pain that worsens as the day nears to an end
Tension headaches are often linked to muscle tension, and they are most likely to be triggered through:
- Tension in shoulders or the neck
- Bad posture
- Earlier neck injuries
If you have a headache on the left side, it may also be a cluster headache.
In America, almost half a million people will experience such a headache once in their lifetime.
Cluster headaches tend to be intensely painful, and often occur on one side of the head. Symptoms are:
- Pain in the region behind one of the eyes, a side of the forehead, or one temple
- Pain intensifies after 5-10 minutes
- The pain is extreme and lasts between 30 to 60 minutes
- Less extreme pain can last up to 3 hours
Some other symptoms that are related:
- Runny nose or blocked nasal passages
- Exhausted eyelid
- Redness and watering in one of the eyes
- Sweaty, flushed face
The exact cause of cluster headaches is not known yet, though it is believed to have a close link with the hypothalamus of the brain.
Cluster headaches normally follow a pattern, occurring at the same time daily.
It may last from 4 to 12 weeks. They usually occur in the fall or spring seasons, that’s why many of us think them as allergy headaches.
Underlying Conditions of a headache on the left side of the head
A headache on the left side of the head is often caused by an underlying condition. Some of them are more severe than others.
Some severe underlying causes include:
- Body’s Injuries
- Blood vessels problem
Underlying conditions that are less serious by taking too much pain killers, and due to sinusitis.
When to See a Doctor:
If the headaches start to build up after passing the age of 50 and constantly get worse, it should be brought into attention, and immediate medical advice should be taken.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms in the list of underlying conditions, you must consult a doctor urgently.
Such symptoms include sweats, vision blur, and fever.
You should also speak to a professional if:
- Headaches start developing after passing the age of 50
- You experience a change in headache patterns
- Headaches constantly worsen
- An alarmingly intense headache appears
- You experience changes in mental functionality or personality
- Headaches appear after receiving a blow to the head
- Headaches affect daily life and make it unmanageable
Treatment of a headache on the left side of the head:
The maximum of the headaches can be effectively treated with pain killers or similar medications.
Two popular medications are ibuprofen and aspirin.
Your doctor might prescribe you strong pain killers or muscle relaxants in the case of severe pain from migraine or tension headaches.
The treatment of cluster headaches is different; it includes pure oxygen inhalation.
Consider bringing a change in your lifestyle by following the list below:
There are a lot of exercises that can relax your mind and body, such as Yoga. This can relax you and effectively decrease muscle tension. This further decreases your chances of triggering a migraine or tension headache.
Avoiding food that triggers such headaches:
Migraine is triggered by foods like alcohol, caffeine, and cheese; these must be avoided.
If you are suffering from a headache that is caused by some underlying condition, then your doctor can provide you necessary treatment and course for the condition.
Most of the headaches are easily managed with medications and certain changes in lifestyle.
Still, a few people experience relentless primary headaches that start to affect the way they function in their daily life.
If this is happening to you, consider consulting with a doctor, and immediately receive appropriate treatment.
If an underlying condition is responsible for a headache, consulting with a doctor urgently can help you to get treatment as soon as possible.