A painful sensation in any part of the head is termed a headache. Serious causes of headaches are usually rare. Most people suffering from headaches feel much better simply by undertaking some lifestyle changes, learning ways to relax and, if needed, sometimes taking medications. Tension headaches and migraines are the most common kind of recurrent, long-lasting, severe headaches.
What are the different types of headache?
When should one seek professional help?
If there is a new onset severe headache:
- The usual headache changes and is now more severe and/or frequent.
- If your headaches are not well-controlled by the current treatment.
Who is qualified to evaluate me?
Neurologists are trained to assess the rarest-of-rare types of headaches.
Your family doctor is also trained to assess and treat common headaches.
When will a patient need a CT or MRI or laboratory tests?
For most persons, MRI and laboratory tests are not necessary to diagnose common headaches.
The doctor will ask you to undergo these tests only if a specific cause for the headache is suspected.
What should I do in case of recurring headaches?
Maintain a ‘headache diary’ to monitor the headache patterns and discover what might be causing your headaches or making them worse (the triggers).
Adjust your lifestyle to avoid headache triggers such as stress, irregular and poor sleep, missing meals, certain foods and beverages and taking medications often.
Learn and use stress management skills effectively to de-stress yourself, for example, early in the morning or after a hard day’s work.
Should I take medicines for reducing pain?
Many medications can be effective. Although routine painkillers can be used, their frequent use may make headaches worse or tough to manage.
A neurologist can prescribe other types of medications if the headaches are severe and interfere in your regular activities.
When should I go back to the doctor?
Revisit your doctor:
- If your headaches don’t improve with the prescribed treatment and continue interfering with regular activities or impact your daily routine.
- If your headaches get worse or new symptoms arise.
Nayati’s Centre of Neurosciences is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities to investigate and treat all types of headaches.