Migraines and Other Headaches
Migraines and other headaches are one of the leading reasons why some people seek the help of a neurologist. An occasional headache is normal, and can usually be treated at home without any issues. However, frequent migraines and other headaches can jeopardize a person’s quality of life and interfere with their ability to do simple tasks.
Types of Headaches
Headaches can be grouped by type based on the location, frequency, and severity of the pain. Identifying the type of headache is the first step in treatment, as each type of headache is treated differently:
• Migraine headaches – These severe headaches can be localized to one side of the head and are often described as throbbing. Migraines may also be accompanied by other physical symptoms, such as nausea or sensitivity to light.
• Tension headaches – Tension headaches are typically triggered by physical or emotional tension. The pain can be felt on both sides of the head but is rarely debilitating.
• Cluster headaches – These severe headaches occur in clusters, possibly occurring at the same time each day.
To discover what is causing the headaches, doctors will perform a physical exam and ask questions about your headache history. You’ll be asked about the severity and frequency of your headaches, as well as if you can identify any activities they may be associated with. You may be asked to keep a headache log in order for your doctors to truly understand your headache pattern and what may be triggering the headaches. The location, type, and frequency of the headache pain can be helpful in determining what type of headache you’re suffering from, which can allow for specified treatment.
Additional tests may be used as diagnostic tools and to rule out other issues. Blood work, x-rays, CT scans, and MRIs may all be used to diagnose the root cause of your headaches.
The treatment for headaches is designed based on the type of headache you are experiencing and any specific medical conditions you may have. For chronic headaches, the focus is on preventing headaches from occurring. This may be accomplished through lifestyle changes, such as avoiding triggers or through the use of medication. Secondly, a pain management plan should be put in place to deal with headache pain when it occurs.
If you’re suffering from migraines and are ready to find a treatment option that fits your needs, contact the specialists at NY Neurology Associates today.