Since a headache is one of the first and most common signs of brain tumor, it is important to find out and know more about brain tumor headaches. Headaches are commonly caused by stress, sleep problems, vision problems and many other reasons, but those that are caused by brain tumors can have certain features that differentiate them from regular headaches.
Recognizing brain tumor headaches
When a person has headaches it is important not to jump to the conclusion that its brain tumor that causes it, because brain tumors are actually not at all common. It is also important to remember that all brain tumors do not cause headaches and this may be a symptom only in some half of all with brain tumors.
There are many other causes of headaches. When a brain tumor occurs, it places pressure on the inside of the skull resulting in a headache. There could be swelling of the brain, and fluid accumulation that could also cause the headaches.
Characteristics of brain tumor headaches
Though we speak of a ‘typical’ headache caused by a brain tumor, the fact is that brain tumors can vary very greatly from person to person in terms of location, size, nature and type of tumor. In the event some people have these characteristic headaches, some have other types of headaches, and yet others don’t have headaches.
Headaches that are caused by a brain tumor are most commonly better or worse at particular points during the day. The morning headache that eases up during the day is thought to be a characteristic of the sort of headaches caused by brain tumors.
Often the pain of the headache may be severe enough to rouse the person from their sleep. This quality of headaches; which can actually awaken someone due to their severity may be a warning sign.
It could be a dull or throbbing kind of ache and very often brain tumor headaches may not be too severe or excruciating enough to be debilitating.
Another characteristic of a brain tumor headache is a progressive worsening of the headache and an increase in its frequency. It could become as frequent as to become almost a constant situation.
Lack of responsiveness to common pain relieving medication available over the counter that is usually effective against headaches is another characteristic of this type of headache.
Certain positions or actions can worsen brain tumor headaches. Lying down, or shaking the head can do this. Sneezing or coughing could also exacerbate the headache because of the pressure generated by these actions.
Whether or not it is a brain tumor that is causing the headache can be determined by looking at the person’s history of headaches. There could be certain predictable triggers that cause a headache when it is related to a brain tumor. There are also typically other symptoms that accompany a headache caused by a brain tumor.
The pattern of the headache’s occurrence, its location, the severity of the pain, its responsiveness to medications could all be pointers and would help in identifying brain tumor headaches.