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Neurology

Headaches

Symptoms, Causes & Diagnosis

Headaches
What for some represents a simple pain that passes after a while or by taking simple measures, for others is more serious. Headache is a pain in any area of the head. Headaches can occur on one or both sides of the head and radiate across the head. Knowing what type of pain we have (primary or secondary) is very important. 

A Headache could appear as intense pain, a palpitating sensation, or a slow ache. Headaches may last from less than an hour to several days, and it could be more complicated than we think. There are many kinds of symptoms, and everyone needs different treatments.


A Headache could be a sign of:
  • Stress
  • High blood pressure
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Migraine
 
Causes of Headaches
Headaches are generally classified by cause:

Primary Headaches
Primary Headaches are stand-alone diseases caused by the overactivity of, or issues with, pain-sensitive structures in the head like blood vessels, muscles, and nerves of the head and neck.
The most common Primary Headaches include Migraines, Cluster Headaches, and Tension Headaches.

Secondary Headaches
Secondary Headaches are caused when another condition incites the pain-sensitive structures in the head.Conditions like:
  • Hangover
  • Brain Tumor
  • Blood Clots
  • "Brain Freeze," or ice-cream Headaches
  • Carbon Monoxide poisoning
  • Concussion
  • Dehydration
  • Glaucoma
  • Teeth-Grinding at night
  • The Flu
  • Overuse of pain medication
  • Panic or Anxiety Attacks
  • Stroke
  • Acute sinusitis
  • Pressure from tight headgear
  • Dental problems
  • Ear infection
  • Meningitis

Symptoms of Headaches
Headaches could radiate over the head or have a single spot or area. They can be intense or medium, appear slowly or quickly, last from less than 45 minutes up to a few days.The symptoms of a Headache depend on what type of Headache it is. Here are the most common:
  • Tension Headache (Mild to moderate pain that could feel like a band around the head.)
  • Migraine Headache (Severe pain in one part of the head that may cause nausea and vomiting, and sensitive to light or noise.)
  • Cluster Headaches (Intense pain, often around eyes.)

Diagnosis of Headaches:
The diagnosis of a particular type of Headache depends on the description of the condition:
  • Type of pain
  • Timing
  • The pattern of attacks

If the nature of the Headache appears to be complicated, maybe you going to need tests such as:
When do I need to seek Emergency Care?
You can control many types of Headaches by yourself, and your doctor could give you a prescription to control most of the more difficult Headaches. Go to a Hospital, call Emergencies, or call your doctor if you have:
  • Headaches that first develop after age 50
  • If you're experiencing the most serious Headache of your life
  • Head pain that increases with coughing or movement
  • Headaches come with confusion understanding speech
  • Headaches that are accompanied by high fever, greater than 102 F to 104 F (39 C to 40 C)
  • Headaches and painful red eye are together
  • Headaches after a hit to the head
  • Headaches that come on suddenly
  • Headaches in patients with cancer or weakened immune systems


Prevention

Talk to your doctor about all the options that you could have. Do not suffer alone!

When visiting the Neurologist, it is recommended to have track and description of the symptoms. It is also important to mention if you are taking any medication. Learning more about Headaches and its symptoms is the first step for treating and controlling them.


BlueNetHospitals - Hospital Los Cabos 
BlueNet Hospitals.