Left-hand headaches can occur for several reasons. Usually the left headache can recover within a few hours and there’s no need to worry. However, if the pain is felt intense or does not disappear immediately, you should visit a doctor for proper treatment.
When the left headache attacks, your daily activities will certainly be disrupted. For your headaches to be treated properly, you need to know the underlying causes and how to deal with them appropriately.
Recognize the Causes of Headaches on the Left
The causes of left headaches can be caused by various factors. One of them is lifestyle factors, which include:
- Drink alcohol
- Delay eating
- Lack of sleep
In addition, although not everyone feels it, certain foods can also trigger left headaches, such as foods containing preservatives, nuts, and processed meat.
There are also several other conditions that can trigger a headache on the left, including:
Infections and allergies
High blood pressure
Respiratory tract infections such as flu, often accompanied by fever followed by headaches. While in allergic reactions, narrowing can occur in the airways and sinus cavities, which often causes headaches.
This nerve disorder occurs in the trigeminal nerve which functions to deliver sensation or excitement from the face area to the brain. Trigeminal neuralgia is generally characterized by pain on one side of the face, so that it can trigger left headaches.
Although it does not have typical physical symptoms, but high blood pressure can trigger a sensation of tension in the neck, to headaches, including left headaches.
Sudden and severe headaches can be a sign of a stroke. Therefore, you need to be alert if you experience sudden severe headaches and you should immediately consult a doctor, especially if accompanied by weakness on one side of the body.
A concussion is usually caused by a collision or a hard blow resulting in injury to the brain. Concussion can be a cause of someone having a left headache.
Brain tumor is a condition of abnormal cell growth in the brain. Tumors can cause intense headaches, appear suddenly and repeatedly, accompanied by other symptoms such as loss of vision, difficulty walking, and seizures.
The above conditions can cause several types of headaches, including migraines that feel like throbbing on one side of the head, although it may also be felt on all parts of the head, and cluster headaches, characterized by severe pain on one side of the head, painful often felt until the eyes on the side of the head that hurts.
How to deal with headaches on the left
In overcoming the left headache, you can try to do treatment at home, namely with a warm or cold compress on the head that hurts, soaking in a warm bath, and resting. If needed, you can take over-the-counter medicines such as ibuprofen, paracetamol, or aspirin.
However, it would be better if you continue to see a doctor, because treatment at home is generally only to relieve pain and not treat the cause of headaches that you experience.
Usually before treating this condition, the doctor will ask about the characteristics of your headache, for example, what kind of left-sided headache you are feeling and how long you have been experiencing it. If deemed necessary, your doctor may recommend that you undergo a supporting examination, such as a CT scan or MRI of the head, to find out the cause.
After knowing the underlying cause, the doctor will provide treatment in accordance with the cause, in addition to drugs that are intended to alleviate complaints of the left headache that you experience. Among these medicines, including:
Beta blocker medication
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as naproxen, can help relieve headaches.
This drug is usually used to treat high blood pressure, is also a mainstay for preventing episodic migraines. Types of beta blocker drugs include atenolol, metoprolol, and propranolol.
Some anti-seizure medications that can prevent migraines and are commonly used to prevent chronic headaches, namely topiramate, sodium divalproex, and gabapentin.
Some antidepressant drugs such as amitriptyline can help in treating depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders that accompany chronic headaches.
Onabotulinumtoxin A (Botox) injections can reduce tension in the muscles of the head, and this might be the right choice for those who cannot tolerate other drugs well.
Important information that you need to know from a variety of drugs is that you should only take them by prescription. That is because the doctor who knows what medication is right to treat pain in your head, according to the cause.
Therefore, it is better to consult a doctor if you experience symptoms of left-sided headaches, especially those that occur suddenly, persistently or repeatedly, so that they can be treated appropriately.