The human head makes up the uppermost portion of the body. It supports the face, contains the brain, and has musculoskeletal structures supported by the skull.
The brain is the main organ of the central nervous system in humans. While the human brain has a similar structure to that of other mammals, it has a more developed cerebral cortex for advanced cognitive functions, including self-control, reasoning, planning, and abstract function.
The head’s main supporting feature is the skull, a bony structure that supports the fleshy outer layer of the face and provides protection for the brain. It also enables stereoscopic vision and sound localization by fixing the distance between the eyes and the position of the ears.
Supported by the viscerocranium or the facial skeleton, the face is the central sensory organ for humans and many other species. It is located on the front surface of the head and is a vital identity feature for humans. It is made up of the forehead, eyes, nose, cheeks, chin, and the mouth. Aside from housing four primary sensory organs—the tongue, nose, ears, and eyes—it is also the key to communication and expression of emotions among humans.
The face is also a highly sensitive part of the human body, processing sensory information such as temperature, touch, visual information, taste, and hearing.
Common Head Problems and Conditions
Head problems and conditions can be caused by a wide variety of factors, including brain injury, infections, pathological conditions, and abnormalities. While most of the head’s vital parts are protected by the skull, they can still be affected by injury or an illness. The brain, perhaps the most important organ in the human body, can be susceptible to various issues that can affect an individual’s health, life, and general function.
Neurodegenerative diseases - This group of brain conditions involves the loss of neuron function and structure over time as the person ages or is affected by serious illnesses. These conditions include Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s diseases, as well as dementia.
Mental disorders - These disorders typically affect how a person thinks, feels, behaves, and perceives. Mental disorders, which include depression, psychosis, and anxiety, can cause emotional and physical suffering to the patient.
Headaches - One of the most common complaints of people of all genders and ages, headaches can be divided into three primary categories: cluster headache, migraine, and tension headache. A cluster headache is typically very painful and occurs in “clusters” or cyclical patterns. Migraines, on the other hand, involve intense pulsing or throbbing sensations on one side of the head. It is also usually accompanied by other symptoms, such as vomiting, nausea, and sensitivity to sound and light. Tension headaches, meanwhile, are usually caused by muscle contractions in the neck and head regions. When compared to migraines, they are generally mild or moderate but cause throbbing pain on both sides of the heads.
Cancer – Cancer, a disease caused by an uncontrolled division of abnormal cells, can affect different parts of the head including the brain, mouth (oral cancer), and neck.
Common Head Surgeries and Procedures
Cosmetic surgery - Cosmetic surgical procedures aim to correct or improve the appearance of the face, including the ears. These include facelift, blepharoplasty, and the surgical correction of cleft lip and cleft palate.
Tonsillectomy - This procedure is often performed to remove infected tonsils.
Head and neck surgery - The term pertains to any form of surgery performed on the head and neck, often to remove malignant growths or to correct or reconstruct abnormalities and injury-