Get a head start for exams

Headaches have become an ordinary occurrence for students around exam times and many of them feel helpless when dealing with this problem. Students are so overwhelmed by the pressure of assignments and exams that they completely forget about the effects this is having on their health.

Dr Elliot Shevel, chairman of the South African division of the International Headache Society, has the following advice:

Tension-type headaches (TTH) feel like a dull or heavy, non-pulsating band of pain, usually on both sides of the head. Picture: Boxer Ngwenya. Credit: INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

The histamines directly cause pain and fatigue, and the low energy that usually accompanies it. It is best to drink plain water, as many carbonated soft drinks contain substances that can also trigger headaches. Substances that headache sufferers should avoid include common ingredients in soft drinks, such as caffeine.

A “multidisciplinary” assessment will need to be done. There are so many different structures in the head, face and neck, all of which can be involved in the migraine process, that no single specialist can have all the knowledge necessary to make a comprehensive diagnosis.

“Which structures are causing the pain… is the million dollar question,” adds Shevel. - The Mercury