Our medical professionals take the time to carefully explore the cause and condition of each patient’s headaches so we can ensure we prescribe the correct treatment. There is no other medical facility in the nation that can compare with our approach to diagnosing different types of headaches, including migraines.
PRIMARY VS SECONDARY HEADACHE DISORDERS
In the United States, primary and secondary headaches are among the top reasons for doctor’s office visits. Migraines are among the leading causes of emergency room or medical office visits.
A headache is a symptom that can have many different causes. They range from tension and viruses to tumors or diseases.
Nearly one in four American households has a member suffering from migraines. That is approximately 28 million people. Broken down further, the figure translates to 18% of the female population and 6% of the males in the U.S. who suffer migraines.
In 1988 the International Headache Society categorized headaches into two basic types.
The first constitutes primary headache disorders which include migraines, tension headaches, cluster headaches, and headaches associated with exertion, colds and other benign conditions and activities.
The other category is secondary headaches, which are caused by evolving disorders like brain tumors, aneurysms, head trauma, and brain hemorrhaging or inflammation.
TYPES OF PRIMARY HEADACHES
- Tension Headaches
- Cluster Headaches
- Chronic Daily Headaches
- Exertion headaches
- Cold-Induced Headaches
- Headaches associated with sexual activity
TYPES OF SECONDARY HEADACHES
- Brain Tumor or Abscess
- Brain Hemorrhage
- Brain Inflammation
- Intracranial Pressure
- Arteriovenous Malformation
- Head trauma, and hematoma
- Meningitis or encephalitis
- Cerebrovascular disease
It is important to differentiate among the types of headaches in question, whether primary or secondary. This is done by conducting a thorough neurological examination and complete patient history.
Answers To The Following Questions Will Guide The Diagnosis of Headache Types:
- How long have you suffered from headaches?
- What triggers your headaches?
- Do you experience an aura, flashing lights, numbness or other symptoms?
- Is there a history of headaches in your family?
- What is the location, severity and description of pain?
- What treatments have you undergone or are doing now?
RELIABLE AIDS IN MIGRAINE DIAGNOSIS:
- Family migraine history
- Changes in headache locations
- Menstrual association
- Auras or prodromes (fatigue, dizziness, odd taste or smell, for example) which are warning symptoms indicating the onset of an attack
- Reliable headache pattern
- Good overall health
- Sleep quality and patterns
- International Headache Society criteria
Secondary headache disorders will often include signaling items in the patient history and examination results that will alert the physician to evaluate further.
- Headache pattern change
- Onset after the age of 50
- A traumatic event
- First or worst headache experienced
- A headache that starts slowly and worsens progressively
- Headaches brought on by sneezing, coughing, sex or exertion (Headaches of this nature can be primary OR secondary. Aneurysm should be ruled out before determining that the headache is a primary rather than secondary.)
- Headaches that resist treatment
NEED HEADACHE RELIEF? CONTACT NATIONAL HEADACHE INSTITUTE TODAY!
At National Headache Institute, we are committed to expert headache diagnoses, which enable us to provide the most effective treatments for our patients. Contact us today at on of our three locations below to get started on your journey to headache relief!