Q:

Why does the top of my head hurt?

A:

Pain may occur at the top of the head due to sinus headaches, tension headaches and migraines. A sinus headache is the result of congestion and inflammation of the sinuses, according to University of Maryland Medical Center. Causes of tension headaches include stress, poor posture, hunger and lack of sleep. Migraines have several causes, including genetic factors, food triggers and hormonal fluctuations.

An individual experiencing pain at the top of the head should consult with a physician for accurate diagnosis and recommendations on steps to take to lessen or eliminate the pain. Different treatment options work best for different headache types. For instance, a doctor may treat pain at the top of the head due to a sinus headache with a decongestant or antibiotic to take care of the underlying congestion, while tension headaches are treated with pain relievers, antidepressants, muscle relaxants and lifestyle changes, according to WebMD.

It is especially important to consult with a doctor if the pain becomes progressively worse or is accompanied by neurological symptoms such as cognitive changes, seizures, changes in personality or numbness, according to Prevention. Liver damage and stomach bleeding may occur with prolonged usage of over-the-counter pain killers, so pain that is ongoing requires attention from a doctor trained in medication management. Pain at the top of the head that occurs along with other neurological symptoms may be indicative of an emergency, such as a ruptured aneurysm, stroke or tumor.


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