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偏頭痛の男
偏頭痛の男

長く頭痛が続くときは要注意!5つにわけられる頭痛の種類

頭痛の男

日本人の4人に1人が悩まされているという頭痛。とても身近なものですよね。ストレスや疲れがたまったり、寝不足、二日酔いなどちょっとしたことですぐに頭痛は私達を襲います。私自身、環境の変化や心配事があるとすぐに頭が痛くなり、その頭痛によって更に気分が落ち込むなんていうこともあります。できるだけ頭痛とはサヨナラしたいものですね。

一口で頭痛といっても、その種類はさまざまです。痛み方やその原因によっても対処方法は大きく異なってきます。まずは、ご自身の頭痛がどのような頭痛かを知ることがとても大切といえるでしょう。また、頭痛によっては今すぐ対処が必要な場合もあります。本記事では、頭痛のメカニズムと長時間続くとされている5つの頭痛の種類をご紹介します。

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頭痛はこうして起きています

頭痛の男

みなさん、頭痛がすると「頭が痛い」そう表現されます。しかし、実は「頭=脳」自体に痛みがあるわけではないんです。頭が痛い場合、その原因は頭周辺の筋肉や血管、神経に痛みがあることがほとんどで、実際脳自体は痛みを感じない場所とされているんです。

例えば二日酔いのときに起こる頭痛は、頭の血管が広がり神経に触れることで起きています。また、女性に多いとされる月経中や更年期障害の頭痛は、ホルモンのバランスが崩れることで神経を刺激し起こるとされています。上記のことからも、頭痛は脳ではなく神経や血管の刺激により起こっているといえるでしょう。

長く続く頭痛は危険?

一般的に、頭痛は「今すぐ対処が必要なもの」と「早急な対処は必要でないもの」にわけられます。「今すぐ対処が必要なもの」は、どこかに頭をぶつけたり脳にできた腫瘍であったり、外因性によるものです。悪化すると命に関わるとされているので、早急に対処することが必要です。

逆に「早急な対処は必要でないもの」は、ストレスが原因であったり、パソコンの使用しすぎであったり二日酔いなどによる一時的な頭痛です。こちらは、ご自身で心あたりがあるかと思いますので、その要因に気を付けることが大切といえるでしょう。

しかしどんな原因にしろ、頭痛は長時間続くと本当に辛いものです。次に、頭痛の中でも長時間続くとされている5つの頭痛についてご紹介します。

長時間続くといわれている5つの頭痛

頭痛の中でも長時間続くとされている5つの頭痛の種類は、次の通りです。

  • 片頭痛
  • 群発頭痛
  • 緊張性頭痛
  • 混合型頭痛
  • 脳腫瘍による頭痛

では次に、上記の5つの頭痛について詳しくご案内します。

片頭痛

脳の血管が拡張し、周辺の神経を刺激することにより痛みが出る頭痛が片頭痛です。女性に多い頭痛とされており、その原因は女性ホルモンの急激な減少などによるとされています。また、気圧や季節の変わり目、うるさい音や強い光によっても引き起こされるといわれています。こめかみのあたりがズキズキと痛むのが特徴で、痛みの前に視界に強い光が見えたり視界の半分が見えなくなる予兆があるといわれています。片頭痛に襲われたら、冷たいタオルで冷やすか、血管収縮作用のあるカフェイン入りの飲み物を飲むと良いでしょう。

群発頭痛

脳に走っている内頸動脈(ないけいどうみゃく)の炎症により、痛みが発生するのが群発頭痛です。目の裏を耐えがたい痛みを襲うのが特徴で、男性に多くみられる頭痛といわれています。まだ、そのメカニズムは解明されていないのが現状です。もし群発頭痛に襲われたら、純度100%の酸素を吸入するか、皮下注射で症状を抑えることができます。最近は、外出先などでも対処ができるよう点鼻薬として鼻スプレーなどもあるようです。群発頭痛は、立っていられないほどの痛みを伴うため、我慢せず医療機関へ相談した方が賢明といえるでしょう。

緊張性頭痛

首筋などの筋肉のこりが原因で起こる頭痛を緊張性頭痛といいます。ズーンと重い痛みが長時間続くのが特徴です。パソコンを長い時間眺めていたり、デスクワークなどで長時間同じ姿勢をとっていると発症するとされています。首筋の筋肉がこることが原因なので、ストレッチをしてこり固まった筋肉をほぐしたり休憩をとるなどすると、痛みがやわらぐといわれています。また、ストレスも大きな原因とされているため、なるべくストレスを溜めずに発散することが緊張性頭痛の予防へとつながるでしょう。

混合型頭痛

頭痛のズキズキとした痛みが終わったかと思うと、緊張性頭痛のズーンという痛みが襲ってくる頭痛を混合型頭痛といいます。主な原因として、片頭痛と緊張性頭痛のどちらかの薬の飲みすぎにより、自律神経に乱れが生じ混合型頭痛に発展するといわれています。対処方法は、片頭痛が起きたときには頭を冷やす、緊張型頭痛が起きたときは首筋などの凝りをほぐすなど、それぞれの頭痛に有効な方法をとりましょう。くれぐれも、頭痛が始まったからといって容易に薬を飲まないようにしてください。多くて1日2回までの服用が好ましいとされています。

脳腫瘍による頭痛

今すぐ対処が必要な頭痛が、脳腫瘍による頭痛です。強いズキズキとした痛みや後頭部から首筋にかけて違和感を覚えたりします。ひどいときは、視界に異常が出たり吐き気を伴うことがあります。その痛みは段々とひどくなるとされており、脳腫瘍による頭痛は、早期の治療が大切です。痛みが日に日にひどくなる場合は、すぐに医療機関へ相談し、詳しく診療してもらいましょう。

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まとめ:我慢せず辛いときは医師に相談をしてください

本記事では、頭痛のメカニズムと長時間続くとされている5つの頭痛をご紹介してきました。もう一度、その5つの頭痛をおさらいしましょう。

  • 片頭痛
  • 群発頭痛
  • 緊張性頭痛
  • 混合型頭痛
  • 脳腫瘍による頭痛

いかがでしたでしょうか。普段頭痛に悩まされている方は、本記事を参考にしてご自身がどのタイプの頭痛をもっているか見極めてくださいね。しかし、原因が判明し対処方法を試しても一向に良くならないという方は、痛みを我慢せずしっかりと医師に相談をしましょう。あなたの辛い頭痛が一日でも早く治り、頭痛なしの生活に戻れるよう私達も応援しています。

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