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For some, reaching the climax in a sexual encounter is not always synonymous with pleasure.
For others, eating a “harmless” ice cream when the sun is warming more than ever can also be synonymous with problems.
And it is that both situations can cause in some people an intense headache. Many, however, have not realized the relationship between the two.
At BBC Mundo we are talking about six factors that may be breaking your head:
1. Sexual relations
“Headaches and sexual activity are often treated with humor as a typical way in which women reject male advances, but the headaches associated with sexual activity can be anything but a joke .”
Those are the words of Margaret J. Redelman, author of “So what if the ‘sexual headache’ is not a joke?”, Published in the British Journal of Medical Practitioners .
The International Society on headache (IHS, for its acronym in English: International Headache Society ) is a British non-profit organization that provides information to help people affected by this disease.
According to the International Society for Headache in the United Kingdom, the headache caused by sexual activity has received different names in the specialized literature:
- Benign sexual headache or benign vascular sexual head pain
- Coital headache or coital headache
- Orgasmic headache or orgasmic headache
The definition presented by this organization is that of “headache precipitated by sexual activity, which usually begins as a bilateral dull pain as the excitement increases and that suddenly intensifies in the orgasm, in the absence of any disorder intracranial. “
The intensity of “abrupt and explosive” pain can occur even shortly before reaching orgasm.
This headache can last from a few minutes to 72 hours, with an average intensity.
According to the National Health System of the United Kingdom (NHS, for its acronym in English), “doctors believe that sexual headaches are due to a pressure that is accumulating in the muscles of the head and neck” as that advances the sexual encounter.
Although the NHS recognizes that this type of headache is inconvenient, it clarifies that ” they are generally harmless and do not mean that sex should be avoided.”
Taking an analgesic a few hours before can block the untimely pain. However, asking for specialized help is always the best step to follow.
2. While you sleep
If you are one of those who wake up with a strong headache, it may be that something is happening in your sleep hours and they are triggering it.
Many people do not know that they suffer from nocturnal bruxism, which is an involuntary habit that causes patients to clench their jaws tightly or grind their teeth by rubbing or sliding them without any functional purpose.
Bruxism in its milder forms is more frequent than it seems, and affects both children and adults. According to the calculation of several scientific studies in 2013, the prevalence of nocturnal bruxism among the adult population is approximately 12% .
“Grinding your teeth is about 40 times more powerful than chewing,” Dr. Nigel Carter of the British Oral Health Foundation told the BBC.
According to the NHS, causing the jaw muscles to contract causes a headache that he describes as “deaf.”
The way to solve it is to go to the dentist to put a mouth guard that will protect our teeth while we sleep.
3. Cleaning the house
It has nothing to do with finding an excuse for laziness: it is a fact that, for some people, cleaning the house can become a headache.
” Household cleaning products , as well as scented perfumes and air fresheners, contain chemicals that can cause headaches,” says the NHS.
“If you are susceptible (…) to certain scents, avoid perfumes, soaps, shampoos and conditioners with strong odors.”
“If a colleague’s perfume is bothering you, put a fan on your desk,” he adds.
British health service recommends using air fresheners and household cleaning products that do not contain fragrance s and, when tidying the house, all the windows open.
Cleaning professionals should also take special measures because the headache may only be a symptom of something more serious.
Last February, a study by the Department of Clinical Science of the University of Bergen, Norway, indicated that the regular use of certain cleaning products can have harmful effects on the lungs .
Researchers studied more than 6,000 people of both sexes for 20 years and concluded that women “who clean at home or who work as professional cleaners had presented an acceleration in the decrease of their lung function .”
4. Not everything that shines …
… it’s good.
Bright lights, especially flashing lights, can cause migraines.
And this is because these types of lights trigger certain chemicals in the brain, which ” activate the center of the migraine, ” explains the NHS.
The British health organization recommends for these patients to wear sunglasses both inside and outside the office, and suggests polarized lenses as an option .
“At work, adjust your computer’s monitor or put an anti-reflective shield on it, or turn off certain lights or move them in. If you can not, move to the office,fluorescent lights tend to flicker. type of lighting “.
That was exactly what William, a BBC journalist, did.
“In my office they installed a very bright white light that was intensified by the reflection of the metal spotlight it was in,” he says.
“I suffer from ocular migraine and tinnitus [tinnitus], two conditions that are related, the light increased those conditions , especially the ocular migraine that interferes with my vision and diminishes my visual field.”
“I asked them to reduce the intensity of the light or change the direction of the focus, and finally they disconnected it completely.”
And William was not the only one who complained. A colleague, who suffers from migraine, also asked to be turned off.
5. Take ice cream
Maybe you knew that chocolate causes migraines to people who are prone to develop them, but did you know about ice cream?
“Do you feel a sharp, throbbing pain in your forehead when you bite into an ice cream ?” Then you are susceptible to headaches caused by cold material moving through the palate and the back of the throat. they have the same effect “, indicates the NHS.
According to Harvard Health Publishing , the publication of Harvard University School of Medicine, when ice cream touches these parts of the mouth, ” small blood vessels in those areas contract and then rapidly dilate.”
“The pain receptors [located] near the blood vessels detect the discomfort and send the message, through small nerve fibers, to a larger nerve (the trigeminal nerve), which, in turn, sends it to the brain. The trigeminal nerve also transmits pain signals from the face . “
According to the NHS, the good news is that ice cream headaches do not require treatment.
“In fact, they end in an instant, rarely last more than a minute or two .”
6. The infallible advice of the grandmother: ” e nderézate!”
According to the NHS, poor posture causes “tension in the upper back, neck and shoulders, which can lead to a headache.”
“Traditionally, the pain feels like a hunch at the base of the skull and is sometimes reflected on the face, especially the forehead.”
The main advice is to avoid staying in the same position for a long time.
Sit up straight and make sure that your lower back is é supported , said the health organization.
And if you are one of those who holds the phone between your ear and shoulder while writing, the NHS recommends you avoid doing so because that position tenses the muscles.
If you think you have posture problems, go to a specialist to identify the best way to correct them because a headache could be just one consequence among many others.