Pain in right side of head can be caused by numerous conditions, including headaches, migraines, etc. In many cases, this pain can cause both physical and cognitive impairment, in such an instance, immediate medical visit is required so as to best determine the cause and method of treatment, helping you to attain relief from the discomfort.
What Causes Pain in Right Side of Head?
1. Trigeminal Neuralgia
One of the biggest nerves within a person’s head is known as the trigeminal nerve. Trigeminal neuralgia is a condition which affects this nerve, causing severe and chronic pain, usually experienced in episodes lasting around two minutes. This severe pain of the face or head can at times be debilitating. The condition is caused by the wearing away of the trigeminal nerve’s protective myelin sheath, due to consistent compression from blood vessels exiting the brain stem.
2. Temporal Arteritis
This condition refers to arteries that bring blood into the head become damaged or inflamed. This condition has sometimes been attributed to serious infections and the heavy use of antibiotic medication, or deficient immune response. A common symptom of this condition is pain in right side of head, and temporal arteritis mainly affects people who are aging over 50.
3. Tension Headaches
This form of a headache is the most common and is experienced by many people at some time in one’s life. They often do not last very long, although in some cases they can last for a week or more. A common symptom of tension headaches is achy, dull pain, a feeling of pressure in the head, tightness on forehead, side of the head, or back of the head. Tension headache can also cause tenderness of your shoulder muscles or scalp.
Migraines can cause more severe form of headaches, usually experienced as throbbing head pain at either side or the front of the head. This may be accompanied with other symptoms, such as vomitingand nausea. These headaches can lead to physical and cognitive impairment, being so severe they are somewhat debilitating.
5. Cluster Headaches
This headache is defined as a group or cluster of headaches that usually appear around the same time of year, lasting for around a month or two before dissipating. Cluster headaches are excruciatingly painful and can be felt in the head or behind an eye, which is often accompanied with locked or runny nasal passages, and watering/red eyes.
6. Other Possible Causes
- Medication headaches: Headache is often seen among the sideeffect lists of both prescription and over-the-counter medications. If you experience headaches after taking a certain medication for a prolonged period of time (ten to fifteen days), it may be wise to discontinue that medication and see if your condition improves. Always speak with a health care professional if you have any concerns about stopping a medication, or the safety of a medication.
- Sinus headaches: Pain in right side of head or the left side, forehead, around the eyes and nose areas,or in the upper section of your teeth can be caused by acute sinusitis, which is accompanied with nasal congestion or discharge, fever and an increased pain when leaning forward. Yet, sinusitis usually not leads to recurring headaches.
- Ice cream headaches: Also known as a ‘brain freeze’, eating ice cream or other similar products too fast can lead to sharphead pain that usually only lasts a few moments. For consistent ‘brain freeze’, just slow down to eat or drink such cold stuff and make the food warmed in mouth before swallowing.
- Exercise and sex: Intense and vigorous exercise may lead to a headache, which can be avoided mostly by ensuring to warm up and warm down effectively, as well as stretching out your muscles both before and after exercise. Anti-inflammatory medication may also prove helpful. Besides, it is also possible to experience a headache after sexual intercourse, which may be mild or severe. This can be treated with certain medications taken prior to intercourse, such as beta blockers, triptans, or indomethacin.
How to Diagnose the Cause of Pain in Right Side of Head
Most headaches are diagnosed via relatively old methods of diagnosis, such as medical history examination and a full-body physical. New testing methods, such as MRIsor CT scans will often give no indication of a problem when testing for most types of headaches. These testing methods may prove useful in detecting underlying conditions that may be causing headaches.
How to Relieve Pain in Right Side of Head
1. Treat Trigeminal Neuralgia
In treatment of this condition, there are often two options: medication and surgery. Medication can be offered to lower one’s sensitivity to pain by blocking signals of pain sent to your brain. These medications include: anticonvulsants, antispasmodic agents, or injections of Botox. The aim of the surgical procedure is to eradicate the trigeminal compression caused by blood vessels exiting the brain stem. Such medical procedures can include microvascular decompression, gamma knife radiosurgery, rhizotomy, glycerol injection, balloon compression, or radiofrequency thermal lesioning.
2. Treat Temporal Arteritis
As this condition currently has no known cure, treatment efforts are focused on limiting the extent of damage caused by the condition. If left untreated, the condition can be life-threatening. Therefore treatments should be started immediately if temporal arteritis is suspected. Some common treatments include:
- Oral corticosteroids
- Vitamin D and Calcium supplements
- Performing exercises that are weight-bearing, (such as walking)
- Regular check-ups with a health care professional
3. Treat Tension Headache
Tension headaches are one of the most common causes of pain in right side of head, or any otherpain relating to the area. Usually, over the counter medications like pain killers are used to treat this condition. Avoiding certain stressors can also help to avoid the occurrence of tension headaches. As for severe tension headache, which is unresponsive to OTC medication, more powerful medications can be prescribed by your doctor to ease your condition.
4. Treat Migraine
Medication like aspirin, ibuprofenor acetaminophen can help to reduce the pain and discomfort associated with migraines. Prescription medications, such as triptans, ergots and other prescribed medications containing stronger pain relieving ingredients (such as codeine) can be prescribed to ease this condition.
5. Treat Cluster Headache
Medications that can be useful in treating cluster headaches include:
- Lidocaine or ergotamine
Some preventative medications may be offered to decrease the level of severity and the frequency of the condition, including:
- Ergotamine tartrate
For sever instances of this condition, surgery is needed to resolve the condition by blocking the trigeminal nerves.
When Should You Be Concerned?
Many people experience headaches and mostly medical intervention is not required. Yet, here are some situations requiring medical visits:
- If the headache is more painful than previous headaches you have experienced in the past
- If the headache starts suddenly and aggressively
- If the headache is accompanied by other symptoms, such as vomiting, fever, nausea, seizures, blurry vision, loss of consciousness, changes in speech, behavioral changes, weakness, etc.
- If the headache was brought about by physical exertion