by Rima Thompson
Millions of Americans experience headaches on a daily basis. For some it can be a debilitating problem that affects not only their personal life, but their professional life as well.
So just what does cause headaches? According to acupuncturist Dr. Ray Chen, of Chen’s Acupuncture in Montclair, headaches come from tension in the energy channel between the head and the neck.
“The reason for blockage can be attributed to anything from high cholesterol to blood clots in the veins,” Dr. Chen said. “When my patients complain of a headache, I usually advise them to see their medical physician to get a CAT scan. If the tests come back negative, then I know I have to work with relieving the tension between their neck and shoulder area.”
Dr. Chen has been successful at using holistic medicine – treatment of the mind and body-to treat headache complaints.
An article written on WebMD (www.webmd.com) by Dr. Deborah F. Rosin, stated that headaches are one of the common causes for patient visits to their doctor. She explained that sometimes a headache is a symptom of sinusitis, which is the swelling of sinuses in the nasal passage.
Dr. Rosin said sinus headaches are rare, and that it is vital for patients to get the right diagnosis of his or her headache because of the various treatments available. She also said other causes for headaches range from allergies to brain tumors.
Junior Amber Evans said she was told her headaches were vision related, and they have since diminished with use of prescription lenses.
In cases of vision related headaches, Dr. Rosin said those people most prone to them are college students, individuals that spend a lot of time in front of a computer and those who drive long distances.
Optometrist Dr. Neil Katz, whose office is in Rancho Cucamonga, said people who do not change their prescription glasses and contacts, or try to get more wear out of their contacts, are more prone to having headaches.
“People need to have yearly visits to the eye doctor,” Dr. Katz said.
Marge Tucker, a patient at Kaiser Permanente in Fontana, has been complaining, about living with and receiving treatments for headaches for over 35 years.
While some of her headaches have been due to allergies, they have now been diagnosed as side effects of her numerous medications, she said.
Dr. Hing Kwee, who has a personal medical practice in Upland, said ongoing use of different medications can result in ongoing headaches.
Dr. Kwee uses pharmaceutical medications to treat the headaches of his patients.
He tries to prescribe the least amount of medication possible while prioritizing the best treatment in the interest of the patients’ health.
“Sometimes I try giving (patients’) different medications because long periods of the same kind can be a factor in why a patient is having headaches,” Dr. Chen said.
High blood pressure is another cause of headaches, he said.
Many students attribute their headaches to hunger pains. They say a busy schedule interferes with proper eating habits.
In another WebMD article, Dr. Jacqueline Brooks stated that less serious headaches could be a result of improper eating habits and tension of the muscles.
However, Dr. Brooks said a physician should address more serious headache complaints.
The more serious types of headache complaints are those associated with migraines, cluster and tension headaches.
Migraines are pains in the vascular muscles of the brain. Someone experiencing this type of headache may exhibit symptoms such as nausea, pain in one or both eyes and low tolerance for noise and light said Kwee.
Cluster headaches are severe pains on one side of the head that happens several times before they stop.
Tension headaches are caused by stress. These are associated with pain on both sides of the head, which typically lasts from a few hours to days.
Senior Roger Garcia and freshman Jenna Campbell both said that stress and an abundance of work cause people to have headaches.
This especially affects college students because of the massive amount of work they usually have to cope with.
Headaches can be treated by prescription medication, alternative medicines, such as holistic, chiropractic treatments, proper diet, exercise and stress reliving therapy or consultation.
Patients should see a qualified physician in relation to their headache complaints.