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Headache - what to ask your doctor

A headache is pain or discomfort in your head, scalp, or neck.

Below are questions you may want to ask your health care provider about your headaches.

Questions

How can I tell if the headache I am having is dangerous?

What are the symptoms of a tension-type headache? A migraine headache? A cluster headache?

What medical problems can cause headaches? What tests do I need?

What changes in my lifestyle may help my headaches?

  • Are there foods that I should stay away from that may make my headaches worse?
  • Are there medicines that may be causing my headaches?
  • Will alcohol or smoking make my headaches worse?
  • Will exercise help my headaches?

What are the pain medicines that can be used for headaches?

  • Will taking too many pain medicines make my headaches worse?
  • What are the side effects of these medicines?
  • Will any of these medicines make me sleepy or confused?

What should I do when I feel a headache beginning?

  • Are there medicines I can take that will stop an oncoming headache?
  • What can I do when I have headaches at work?

Are there medicines that I can take that will make my headaches come less often?

What can I do about nausea or vomiting with my headaches?

Are there any herbs or supplements that I can take that will help? How do I know if they are safe?

Alternative Names

What to ask your doctor about headaches; Migraine - what to ask your doctor; Tension-type headache - what to ask your doctor; Cluster headache - what to ask your doctor

References

Digre KB. Headaches and other head pain. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds.Goldman Cecil Medicine

Garza I, Swanson JW, Cheshire WP Jr, et al. Headache and other craniofacial pain. In: Daroff RB, Fenichel GM, Jankovic J, Mazziotta JC, eds.Bradley's Neurology in Clinical Practice

Kwiatkowski T, Friedman BW. Headache disorders. In: Marx JA, Hockberger RS, Walls RM, et al., eds.Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice

Update Date 2/8/2015

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