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Headaches and Migraines

Headaches & Migraines
Headaches can sometimes be mild, but in many cases, they can cause severe pain that makes it difficult to concentrate at work and perform other daily activities. A migraine is a type of headache that is characterized by mild to severe episodes of headache and other associated symptoms like nausea, sensitivity to sound, light, and head movement.

Causes

Depending on the cause, headaches can be divided into primary and secondary types.

Primary headache

In primary headache, the pain itself is the main problem and is not a symptom of any underlying medical condition. There are various categories of primary headaches including cluster headache, tension headache, and migraine.

Secondary headache

Secondary headaches are those that are due to an underlying medical condition like a brain tumor, or pain that originates in the neck or shoulders.

Diagnosis

Headaches are usually diagnosed after taking a thorough medical history. In more rare cases, advanced diagnostic tools and techniques are used to identify the source of headache pain. These techniques are more helpful for diagnosing secondary headache pain. These include:

  • Blood draws to look for abnormal electrolytes, hormone abnormalities, or signs of inflammation
  • Computer tomography (CT) scan to look for internal structural abnormalities
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can also look for abnormalities.
  • Spinal tap to evaluate for infections in or near the brain

Headache and migraine triggers

Headache and migraine triggers are defined as any physiological or environmental factors that can elicit headaches or migraine.

Environmental factors

Environmental triggers like light, noise, strong odor, and excessive sensory stimuli can provoke migraines and headaches. Painful stimuli that provoke migraine usually occur in the head and neck region.

Food factors

There are numerous food triggers for migraines which include caffeine, chocolates, vinegar, and some nuts. Byproducts of food aging like cheese, red wine and yeast can also stimulate migraine.

Physiologic factors

Stress is the common trigger for headaches and migraine. Other physiologic stress factors like hunger, anxiety, exercise, and even pain can provoke migraine. Excess sleeping is also associated with migraine.
Migraines are commonly triggered by hormone changes, like a decrease in estrogen levels before the menstrual period or after menopause.

Treatment Plan

Some common over the counter (OTC) medications for headaches and migraines are ibuprofen, aspirin, and acetaminophen. These OTC medications will relieve pain within a few minutes, but if the pain gets worse, then medical care may be necessary.
Various prescription drugs are used to address headaches, depending on the type. Some examples are triptans like sumitriptan, anti-nausea medications, and even oxygen.
It is important to note that triptans can suppress symptoms, but when taken frequently can worsen the situation by causing rebound symptoms that are more intense than the original manifestation.
Facial abrasions and considered more serious as these have a higher risk of cicatrization and should be cleaned,debrided, and dressed daily. Dressings may require skin adhesives like the combination of gum mastic, styrax,alcohol, and methyl salicylate or tincture of benzoin.

Contact us

In case of urgent medical care assistance, AfterOurs Urgent Care offers immediate telemedicine services, where medical providers are available to offer assistance. Anyone who experiences signs and symptoms requiring urgent medical attention can simply book their appointment with AfterOurs Urgent Care to directly talk to an expert. If your medical issue is not appropriate for telemedicine, we will let you know and refer you to an in-person facility.

When to visit a doctor:
If you experience a severe headache, you should see a medical provider in order to avoid possible serious complications.

Treatment of headaches and migraines is available at AfterOurs Urgent Care.