Diagnosing Different Types of Headaches
A person’s medical history and the frequency and severity of the headache is important in distinguishing an uncomfortable but safe headache from a more serious one. A doctor’s consultation is likely to include these questions:
- When did the headaches start?
- Was the onset sudden?
- Is it one headache that is present all the time or does it come in bursts? If so, how long does each burst last?
- When do the headaches occur (for example, in the morning?) and how often do they occur?
- Are they getting worse?
- What sort of pain is it-stabbing or aching?
- Where on the head does it occur-in one particular place or all over?
- Is there anything that seems to bring the headache on, make it worse or relieve it-certain foods, bending or coughing, for example?
- Does anything else occur with the headache?
What causes headaches?
Headaches occur for many reasons. Receptors responsible for the sensation of pain lie in blood vessels at the base of the brain as well as in the meninges, the protective coverings of the brain.