Headaches on the left side can be caused by a variety of factors. Understanding the possible causes and remedies may assist a person in managing pain and determining when to seek expert assistance. A headache problem affects around half of all individuals globally. Some headaches are minor and may be treated at home, while others are severe and require medical attention.
Seek medical assistance if your headache is accompanied by blurred vision, nausea, or any other concerning symptoms. If a person experiences a sudden, severe headache, weakness on one side of the body, or disorientation, they should seek immediate medical attention.
This article discusses the symptoms, causes, and treatments for left-sided headaches. It also tells you when you need go visit your doctor.
Migraines and cluster headaches are two forms of headaches that can induce left-sided discomfort. These are discussed in further depth below.
In general, headaches are classified as “main” or “secondary” by doctors. Pain is the most common symptom in primary headaches. Secondary headaches are induced by another medical condition, such as:
Tumor of the brain
The headache that results might occur everywhere, including the left side. Headaches come in a variety of forms and are caused by a variety of factors. Which includes:
A migraine headache on the left side can range from moderate to severe. The disease affects 12% of the population in the United States, with 17% of women and 6% of males affected. Migraines can be throbbing and severe on one side. The discomfort may begin around the eye or the temple and extend to the rest of the head. A migraine can also cause the following symptoms:
Nausea and vomiting
Sensitivity to sound, light, touch, or scent to the extreme
Feelings of numbness or tingling in the face or extremities
A hemiplegic migraine is an uncommon kind of migraine that causes weakness in the limbs and face on one side of the body.
A migraine episode might last anywhere from 4 to 72 hours. It is possible that a person may need to lie down in a dark place and relax until the symptoms subside. The specific reasons are unknown, although genetics and environmental factors appear to have a role. The following are examples of common triggers:
In 80% of instances, stress is a factor.
Hormonal alterations appear in 65% of instances.
Certain foods, such as wine, cheese, and chocolate, are prohibited.
Too much or too little sleep
Lights that flash or light that flashes
It has a perfume-like odor.
Cluster headaches can produce excruciating pain on one side of the head, frequently around the eye. The pain can be excruciating and might be acute, searing, or piercing.
Cluster headaches affect about 1% of the population in the United States. When they do occur, headaches often develop in a series of episodes lasting 4-12 weeks before ceasing for an extended period of time, potentially several years. They frequently affect the same side every time. Common characteristics include:
Pain behind one eye, in the temples, or on one side of the brow
Pain that occurs in the middle of the night, generally one to two hours after falling asleep
After 5-10 minutes, the agony becomes unbearable.
Severe pain that lasts 30-60 minutes
Pain that is less intense and can persist up to 3 hours
Symptoms associated with this condition may include:
Runny or stuffy nose
One eye is red.
Face flushed or sweaty
The specific reason is unknown, but scientists believe it involves the hypothalamus, a portion of the brain, and the nerves and blood vessels of the trigeminal system, which influence the eyes and face.
Cluster headaches frequently strike at the same time every day. They may also be more prevalent in the spring or fall, and they might be mistaken for allergy headaches. It often affects persons between the ages of 20 and 50, with men accounting for 80 percent of those affected.
This form of headache can be caused by a neck injury, arthritis, or other abnormalities in the vertebrae near the top of the spine. It might lead to:
On one side, moderate to severe discomfort begins in the neck and spreads to the eyes and face.
Neck stiffness and a limited range of motion
Pain in the area surrounding the eyes, neck, shoulders, and arms
Light and sound sensitivity
Steroid injections and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen (Advil), may be used to alleviate discomfort. Cervical headaches should go gone after 3 months of therapy, however they may reoccur. The pain and other symptoms may be cyclical and reoccur on a regular basis, but the frequency varies from person to person.
Vasculitis, a form of vasculitis, can be caused by an autoimmune assault in which the body reacts as if its blood vessels were dangerous substances. Giant cell arteritis, commonly known as temporal arteritis, is a frequent form of vasculitis. This has an effect on the blood vessels in the brain. It generally affects persons over the age of 50.
Vasculitis can result in a headache resembling a “thunderclap headache.” The agony is excruciating, and there is frequently no apparent explanation. The pain from a thunderclap headache is most acute within 1 minute and lasts at least 5 minutes. The discomfort from a comparable headache caused by vasculitis may take a bit longer to emerge. Other signs and symptoms may include:
Sudden loss of vision
Pain on one side of the head or behind the eye
Pain when chewing
Anyone experiencing these symptoms should receive medical advice. Untreated vasculitis can lead to permanent vision loss.
A brain aneurysm is a weak spot in the brain’s blood arteries. Unless it ruptures, it typically does not produce symptoms. It can result in life-threatening hemorrhage in this situation.
A thunderclap headache is characterized by abrupt, intense pain. They may feel as if they have been hit hard in the head, and they may also have weakness on one side of their body. Other symptoms that might occur include:
Neck stiffness or pain
Nausea and vomiting
When should you visit a doctor?
If a person experiences severe or chronic headaches, or if the pain is accompanied by other symptoms, they should seek medical attention. Other symptoms include:
Nausea and vomiting
One-sided weakness of the body
It is especially necessary to see a doctor if: Headaches appear beyond the age of 50.
The headache pattern has shifted significantly.
The headache is becoming very severe.
A person’s mental function or personality has changed.
Headache is caused by a blow to the head.
Headaches make it difficult to function in everyday life.
Anyone who has a sudden, severe headache should seek immediate medical attention since it might be a symptom of a stroke or aneurysm.
Treatment and prevention
Many people can get rid of headaches by using over-the-counter medicines and resting. When practicable, the following precautions may aid in the prevention of certain forms of headaches:
Stress should be avoided or managed.
Maintain a consistent sleep schedule.
Avoid well-known triggers.
For extreme pain, your doctor may prescribe stronger pain relievers.