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Hemikrania is one type of primary headache. Hemikrania is characterized by a one-sided headache accompanied by various ailments, such as eye tearing or runny nose. What distinguishes hemicrances from other types of headache, and how can you provide relief - what is hemicrancy treatment?

Hemikrania(hemicrania) is a one-sided headache, classified as one of the primary headaches. Headache is an exceptionally general term - although not everyone is aware of it, there are relatively many types of this ailment. Headaches are mainly divided into primary and secondary - the first of these are independent disease entities, the essence of which is headache, and secondary headaches are problems in which some other pathology causes a headache.

Primary headaches attract the most attention of scientists. One of the disorders included in this group is hemicranes.

Hemikrania is considered to be one of the rarer headaches - it is so rare that it is impossible to even determine its incidence in the general population.

However, some facts about this unit have been known to medics for a long time - it is known that this problem occurs more often in women than in men, it is also known that the first symptoms of hemicrancy usually appear in patients between 10 and 30th year of their lives.

Hemikrania: reasons

In the literature, the first reports of hemicrancy appeared as early as 1881, and since then, medics have managed to obtain a lot of information about this pathology, but to this day, this problem can certainly be considered quite enigmatic. The causes of hemicrank have still not been discovered.

It is suspected that the genes inherited by us may have some influence on its occurrence - it is noticeable that people whose families have someone suffering from hemicrank, have an increased risk that a similar problem will also appear in them.

Hemikrania: symptoms

As you can imagine, the main symptom of hemicrank is headache. Its characteristic features include the fact that it is always pain:

  • one-sided
  • pulsating
  • located in the area of ​​the forehead,temples or around the eye socket

Typical for hemicrank, however, is that the headache is accompanied by various other ailments, such as:

  • watery eye
  • runny nose
  • conjunctival redness
  • redness of half of the face
  • pupil constriction
  • swollen half of the face
  • forehead sweating

It is also characteristic of hemicrank that the ailments listed above are usually more severe on the same side as the headache.

Hemikrania: types

There are two types of hemiplegia:

  • paroxysmal hemicransmission
  • continuous hemikran

In the case of the first of the above-mentioned problems, there are frequent (up to 5 a day), lasting several to several (usually up to 30) minutes, headache attacks with accompanying additional ailments.

A much greater nuisance for patients is continuous hemicrancing, in which the patient is struggling with pain almost all the time (however, there are periods of exacerbation here, in which the pain intensifies).

Hemikrania: diagnostics

The diagnosis of hemicrancy is usually not easy - this is the result of, for example, the fact that before making such a diagnosis, it is necessary to exclude other, more common possible causes of headache (such as, for example, cluster headache).

In the diagnosis of headaches, the medical history (focusing on the nature of ailments, their duration, factors provoking the appearance of symptoms and accompanying symptoms) and neurological examination are important.

Usually, the patient undergoes imaging tests - such as computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging - thanks to which it is possible, first of all, to exclude pathologies that may cause secondary headaches (such as, for example, a brain tumor).

When it has been ruled out that the patient may be suffering from secondary headaches, it is possible to search for the primary headache.

In the differential diagnosis of hemicrances, mainly migraine and cluster headaches are taken into account.

Usually, the most difficulties arise when differentiating between hemicrancy and cluster headache - the distinguishing features of these problems are, for example, that hemicranial attacks occur more frequently, but last shorter (the opposite is true in the case of cluster pains), additionally, hemicranchia is more often diagnosed in women (cluster headaches are more commonin men).

In the diagnosis of hemispheres, certain criteria are also taken into account, which are especially important in the case of continuous hemisphere. Well, this disease can be diagnosed when in a sick person:

  • headaches last for more than 3 months
  • pain has a typical characteristic (it is one-sided, it occurs every day and tends to exacerbate spontaneously from time to time)
  • the headache is accompanied by the aforementioned ailments (such as lacrimation or conjunctival hyperemia)
  • the pain subsides after the administration of indomethacin

Hemikrania: treatment

What the treatment of hemicrances is based on is shown above - indomethacin is the drug of choice for this type of headache (pain relief after giving the patient this drug is one of the criteria for hemicranial diagnosis).

In order to relieve headaches, in the case of hemicrania, chronic use of this drug is necessary - in order to prevent the side effects of pharmacotherapy concerning the gastrointestinal tract, patients are additionally treated with preparations belonging to proton pump inhibitors.

In those patients where the use of indomethacin is impossible, other drugs, such as celecoxib or topiramate, may be used.

Hemikrania: prognosis

Hemikrania is a chronic disease - unfortunately it is impossible to cure it completely.

Typically patients, in order to prevent pain, have to take painkillers chronically - quite often it happens that discontinuation of pharmacotherapy results in a recurrence of pain.

About the authorBow. Tomasz NęckiA graduate of the medical faculty at the Medical University of Poznań. An admirer of the Polish sea (most willingly strolling along its shores with headphones in his ears), cats and books. In working with patients, he focuses on always listening to them and spending as much time as they need.

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