Headaches are taking a toll on the health of young women and children as little as five years in the city.
At the Neurology Department of PGI, about 150 cases of persistent headache are reported every week. A majority of them are young women between their 20s and 40s. The problem is also increasing among children; five to 10 of the new cases coming every week are children below 15 years of age.
Dr Vivek Lal, head of Neurology Department, says, “The reason behind 90 per cent of these headaches is migraine, the rest 10 per cent are because of tumors, sinus or other factors.”
He says that stress, obesity, lack of exercise and working till late night are the reasons behind increasing incidence of persistent headaches.
The most common symptoms which patients complain about are severe headache, temporal headache, pain behind eyes, and nausea with symptoms of migraine. One should not ignore these symptoms, especially among young women, as it could lead to vision loss, says the doctor.
At the Neurology Department of Fortis Hospital, daily about 10 new headache cases are reported, of which one or two are children.
“Among children, migraine is the most common cause of headache. Further, two types of headaches are more common among patients — migraine and tension headaches,” says Dr H S Mann, neurologist at Fortis.
Neurologists say one should not ignore any headache, and should consult a neurologist if headache persists for over two weeks, otherwise it may lead to permanent vision loss.
“Migraine and headaches are important cause of acute vision loss, which is often irreversible among adults. Though treatable, some of the cases report very late in PGI,” says Dr Lal.
He adds, “Food which is high in carbohydrates increases the risk of migraine and food rich in fibres is a deterrent for migraine. Hence, one must include green leafy vegetables, fruits and milk in diet. People should avoid junk and greasy food. Further, a healthy breakfast is a must for people who have headaches.”
Dr Mann says that by making some life-style changes, one can avoid headaches. “One must take out at least 30 minutes for exercise or brisk walk daily. Yoga and meditation also help, “ he says.