Tech-savvy teenagers tend to suffer from headaches: Doctors

Last Updated 23 February 2011, 05:39 IST

"Increasing use of computers, laptops, video games and other electronic gadgets are triggering acute headaches among teenagers in major cities of India," neurologists at the Fortis Hospital here said.

They said that though no systematic study has been conducted on the issue, prevalence of headache is found to be around 47 per cent globally and is nearly identical in India too.

"Of this, tension type headache is most prevalent, followed by migraine-generated headache."

Fortis hospitals launched a comprehensive centre for effective treatment and management of headaches by opening a 'Headache Clinic' at the city's eastern outskirt of Anandapur yesterday.

Advising that headaches accompanied by persisting fever and steady weight loss should be taken care of and referred to the doctors for advice, neurologist Amit Halder said that this common problem should not be neglected as headache is a symptom and can itself be a disease.

"Watch the duration of the headache. If it is for a prolonged period of time, it is advisable to see a doctor," according to another neurologist Debasish Chakraborty.

He said a detailed proper diagnosis of all types of headache is required and in case of chronic or recurrent headache, investigating with the EEG, CT/MRI scan and SPECT scans should be done to validate serious issues of the possibility of brain tumour.

"Introducing non-pharmacological measures such as lifestyle modification biofeedback and proper counselling to help improve quality of life is suggested," he said.

Neurologists are of the view that patients suffering from headaches take to self medication which increases the problem manifold in many cases.

"And the damage caused by repeated use of pain killers can lead to problems like gastric ulcers, to life threatening gastrointestinal bleeding and much more."

Consultant neuro surgeon Amitabha Chanda said, "At times patients fail to realise that headache by itself is not a problem. It can also be sign of problems even as severe as brain tumour".

Neurologists said that the excess intake of alcohol, cigarettes and cigar, consumption of junk food, chocolates, citrus fruits, onions, beans are found to be likely causes of headache.

Besides, hormonal changes, use of oral contraceptive, menopause, apart from hot and humid climate are found to be the causes of the headache.

(Published 23 February 2011, 05:39 IST)

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