Information about headaches, from the mildly unpleasant
to the extremely painful. Transcript of radio broadcast:
This is SCIENCE IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English.
On SCIENCE IN THE NEWS: A guide to headaches
And I'm Bob Doughty. Today we tell about headaches
the head pain
that strikes almost everyone at some time.
Have you had a headache recently? If your answer is yes,
you are like many millions of people worldwide
pain in the head. The pain can be temporary
mild and cured
by a simple painkiller
like aspirin. Or, it
The National Headache Foundation says more than forty
five million people in the United States suffer chronic
headaches. Such headaches cause severe pain that goes
Some headaches may prove
difficult and require time to
. But many experts
today are working toward cures
help for chronic headaches.
- take care of; care
The US Headache Consortium
is a group with seven
. They are attempting
treatment of one kind of headache -- the migraine
people experience this kind of pain as often as two weeks
– Main; most
every month. The National Headache Foundation
about seventy percent of migraine sufferers are women.
Some people describe
the pain as similar to a repeated
beat. Others compare
it to someone driving a sharp
object into the head. Migraine headaches cause Americans
) – try
to miss more than one hundred fifty million workdays each
–A very strong,
year. A migraine can be mild
. But it also can be so severe
that a person cannot live a normal life.
One migraine sufferer lives in Ellicott City, Maryland.
Video producer Curtis Croley had head pain as a child. He
does not know what kind of headaches they were. But
when he suffered severe headaches as an adult, doctors
–With an edge that
the problem as migraine.
– gentle -
–Harsh; acute; felt
Identify (ied) –
Recognize; make well
Today, Mister Croley says months can pass
headache. But then he will have three migraines within a
month. If he takes the medicine
his doctor ordered
in his headache, it controls
the pain. If not, the pain in his
head becomes extremely
bad. Sometimes he has had to be
treated with a combination
of drugs in a hospital.
Today, Mister Croley says months can pass without a
headache. But then he will have three migraines within a
Manage; be in
month. If he takes the medicine his doctor ordered early in
his headache, it controls the pain. If not, the pain in his
head becomes extremely bad. Sometimes he has had to be
treated with a combination of drugs in a hospital.
act in response to
Some people take medicine every day to prevent
migraine headaches. Others use medicine to control pain
. Doctors treating migraine sufferers
often order medicines from a group of drugs known as
Most migraines react
at least partly to existing medicine.
And most people can use existing medicine without
experiencing bad effects. Doctors sometimes use caffeine
to treat migraine headaches. Interestingly, caffeine also can cause some migraines.
VOICE ONE: Medical experts have long recognized the work of the
Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. The Mayo Clinic says several foods are suspected of causing migraines. Cheese and alcoholic drinks are among them. Food
additives like nitrates and monosodium glutamate also are suspected causes.
The Mayo Clinic tells patients
to avoid strong smells that
started migraines in the past. Some people
react badly to products like perfume, even if they have a
The Clinic's experts say aerobic
exercise can help
migraine sufferers. Aerobic exercise increases a person's
heart rate. It can include walking, swimming or riding a
bicycle. But a sudden start to hard exercise can cause
The experts advise that people should plan to exercise, eat
The Mayo Clinic has advice
who suffer from migraines. The female body makes
estrogen. Drugs like birth control pills
contain a version
Birth control pills –
Such medicines may produce headaches or cause them to
, the Clinic says. The same is true for estrogen
drugs for women. Doctors sometimes order
estrogen replacement for women who no longer able to
The Clinic also says hypnotherapy
might help suppress
headaches. It says the method could reduce
and severity of a patient’s headaches. In hypnotherapy,
willing people are placed in a condition that lets them
receive suggestions. They look like they are sleeping. The
suggestions they receive may be able to direct
The Mayo Clinic says the hypnotizer
can never control the
person under hypnosis. It also says the hypnotized person
– put under
will remember what happened during the treatment.
Emotion (al) –
More people suffer tension headaches than migraines. But
most tension headaches are not as powerful.
Atmosphere (ic) -
Events that start tension headaches may include emotional
pressure and the deeper than normal sadness called
. Other tension headaches can start from
something as simple as tiredness. Common changes in
conditions also can be responsible.
The Mayo Clinic says you may feel a tension headache as
tightness in the skin around your eyes. Or, you may feel
pressure around your head. Episodic
strike from time to time. Chronic tension headaches happen more often. A tension headache can last from a half hour to a whole week.
VOICE ONE: The Mayo Clinic says the pain may come very early in the day. Other signs can include pain in the neck or the lower
part of the head. Scientists are not sure what causes
tension headaches. For years, researchers blamed
tension from tightening in the face, neck and the skin on
top of the head. They believed emotional tension caused these movements.
But that belief has been disputed
. A test called an
shows that muscle tension does not
increase in people with a tension headache. The test
records electrical currents caused by muscle activity. Such
research has caused the International Headache Society to
re-name the tension headache. The group now calls it a
– a test,
Some scientists now believe that tension headaches may
result from changes among brain chemicals such as
. The changes may start sending pain messages
to the brain. These changes may interfere
- get in the way
Medicines for tension headache can be as simple as aspirin or other painkillers. But if your pain is too severe, you will need a doctor's advice.
VOICE ONE: A web site called Family Doctor dot org provides information from the American Academy of Family
Physicians. The group suggests steps to ease or end a tension headache.
For example, it says putting heat or ice on your head or neck can help. So can standing under hot water while you are getting washed. The group also advises exercising
often. Another idea is taking a holiday from work. But you had better ask your employer first.
Ask anyone with a cluster
headache, and they will tell you
that the pain is terrible. The Cleveland Clinic Headache
Center in Ohio says the cluster headache can be many
– Space of time
Cluster headaches usually strike young people. Smokers
and persons who drink alcohol often get these headaches.
Men are about six times more likely than women to have
– an area
them. The Cleveland Clinic says this is especially true of
younger men. Doctors say cluster headaches often strike
Cluster headache patients describe the pain as burning.
The pain is almost always felt on one side of the face. It can last for up to ninety minutes. Then it stops. But it often starts again later the same day. Eighty to ninety
percent of cluster headache patients have pain over a
number of days to a whole year. Pain-free periods
separate these periods.
The Cleveland Clinic says the cause of cluster headaches is
in a brain area known as a trigeminal-autonomic reflex
pathway. When the nerve is made active, it starts pain
linked to cluster headaches. The nerve starts a process that
makes one eye watery and red.
Studies have shown that activation
of the trigeminal nerve
may come from a part of the brain called the hypothalamus
. The Cleveland Clinic says injections of
the drug sumatriptan can help. Many other drugs also
could be used. For example, doctors say breathing oxygen also can help. Thankfully, modern medicine has ways to treat almost all
This program was written by Jerilyn Watson and produced
And I'm Barbara Klein. Read and listen to our programs at voaspecialenglish.com. Join us again next week for more news about science in Special English on the Voice of
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Curriculum Vitae 1. Name in Full : Professor Sudha Mahajan Cowsik, FAMS 2. Date of Birth : 3. Present Designation and address: Professor, School of Life Sciences, Jawaharlal 4. Nationality: Indian 5. Citizenship: Indian 6. Qualifications : Academic career and professional attainments : Degree/ Diploma University/Institution Year BSc (Hons. Sch) Punja