Wednesday, January 14, 2015

When You Should not ignore your headache ?

Well we all must have experienced headache at least once in our life but some time we should give due importance to headache when any one of following is associated with your headache
  • Is it first or worst headache of life?
  • Is your headache started suddenly without any warning or build-up?
  • Is there any fundamental change in the pattern of recurrent headaches
  • Are you more than 50 years?
  • Are you also having associated condition like presence of cancer, HIV, pregnancy?
  • Are you also having symptoms other than headache?
  • Is your headache started with seizure or syncope or with exertion, sex or Valsalva (squeezing)?
To make the correct diagnosis your doctor will ask certain questions which you should know about your headache like:-
  • What is the location of headache?
  • How did the headache start (e.g. suddenly or slowing becoming worse)
  • What is the quality of headache (e.g. throbbing, pounding, splitting, stabbing, blinding or pressure-like).
  • How severe is your headache?
  • Do you also have symptoms other than headache ?
If you are having recurrent headache you doctor will also ask about:
  • At what age you started having headache?
  • What is frequency of headaches, ( daily or many times in weeks or months)
  • Is there any specific pattern of headache (including any relationship to phase of menstrual cycle)
  • Which factors increase your headache (e.g. head position, time of day, sleep, light, sounds, physical activity, odors, chewing, change in temperature or altitude, noise, smoke, stress, oversleeping
  • What is the usual duration of headache?
  • What symptoms precede your headache?
  • Do you suffer from more than one type of headache?
  • What is response to the previous treatment if taken?

If you are having frequent headaches like migraine, you can keep a headache diary. In you can keep the record of each headache and also the information about the preceding events before each headache and also the response to treatment. It can also help to diagnose and monitor response of particular treatment.