Smoking and second-hand smoke from cigarettes, cigars, and pipes can contribute to headaches for both the smoker and the non-smoker. Nicotine, one of the components of tobacco, stimulates the blood vessels in the brain to constrict (narrow). Smoking also stimulates the nerves in the back of the throat, contributing to headache pain.
Usually, by removing the stimulus (nicotine), headaches will be relieved. Quitting smoking or reducing exposure to second-hand smoke is especially helpful for those with cluster headaches. In one study of people with cluster headaches, those who reduced their tobacco use by less than one-half pack of cigarettes per day found their headaches decreased by 50%.
Some headaches can be summed up in just a few words. A migraine, however, can be a lengthy event that causes far more than just head pain. If you have migraines, learning a few new words may help you better understand and describe your symptoms.
Here are the definitions of 10 important migraine terms:
Ataxia. This is the medical term for difficulty using your muscles that leads to lack of coordination. A type of migraine called basilar migraine, which involves the brainstem, may cause ataxia...