Diagnosing Headaches

In order to find the right treatment option, it is important to get a proper headache diagnosis—without understanding the cause of your headaches, treatment is impossible. While most people will self diagnose themselves, it is important to visit Sweet Dreams Sleep Solutions for a proper diagnosis. Dr. Amanda Juarez understands headaches might occur frequently, which is why a diagnosis is needed to create a proper treatment plan.

The Headache Diagnosis

Depending on the type of headache, each treatment option might be different. Accurate diagnosis of frequent or recurring headaches is critical to finding relief when symptoms occur. It also helps to establish both a short-term and long-term treatment plan.

A headache might also be a symptom of an underlying health problem that requires further medical attention. In diagnosing headache types, a complete and accurate history of symptoms and characteristics is helpful. Dr. Juarez might ask about how the headache feels and the characteristics including:

  • A description of the type of pain and where it is located.
  • The severity of the pain on a scale of 1 to 10.
  • The length of time that the pain lasts.
  • The frequency of the headaches.
  • A presence of a trigger, such as situations, food, activities or medicines preempting the headache.
  • Any symptoms that occur along with the headache, such as sensitivity to light and/or sound, nausea, or weakness.
  • Does anyone else in your family have headaches?
  • When did you first experience this type of headache?
  • Do you experience headaches that feel different, or do you have different types of headaches?

Physical Examinations

It is also necessary to conduct a physical or neurological examination to find any signs of what might be an underlying cause, such as:

  • Trouble with balance
  • Vision abnormalities
  • High blood pressure
  • Fatigue or muscle weakness
  • Injuries or head trauma
  • Infections
  • Malformation
  • Tumor
  • Hemorrhage

A doctor who can further aide in the diagnosis of headaches with work alongside Dr. Juarez to provide proper and accurate diagnosis. Through this teamwork, we can rule out or confirm possible causes and sometimes use diagnostic tests such as an MRI, which is used to take images of the brain that enable a radiologist to see the soft tissues inside the skull. Through the use of an MRI the cause of a headache will potentially be able to be explained.

With multiple types of headaches and many possible causes, it is important to seek further care to determine a proper diagnosis. Most headache patients may not require an array of extensive diagnostic testing before establishing a treatment plan, but that is where proper diagnosis comes into play.

Contact Sweet Dreams Sleep Solutions to learn more about the next steps needed in a proper headache diagnosis.