Headache and Migraine
Dr Navjot Dhami MB ChB 2007 University of Glasgow
What are the causes of a headache?
Headaches causes can be divided up into Primary and Secondary causes.
A primary headache is caused by a problem with the nerves, blood vessels, or chemicals that sets off pain signals in your brain. It is not related to any other underlying disease.
- Tension headache
- Migraine with aura
- Cluster headache
- High blood pressure
- Infection of the brain or head, such as meningitis or sinusitis
- Bleeding or swelling of blood vessels in the brain
- Fluid buildup in the brain (hydrocephalus)
- Brain tumor
- Unlike primary headaches, secondary headaches come on quickly and can be very severe
What is the difference between a headache and a migraine?
- Migraine with aura – where there are specific warning signs just before the migraine begins, such as seeing flashing lights
- Migraine without aura – the most common type, where the migraine happens without the specific warning signs
- Migraine aura without headache – where an aura or other migraine symptoms are experienced, but a headache does not develop
When should I seek medical advice for headaches?
Most people with simple headaches who ask for a doctor’s advice are cared for solely by their GP.
- Is there a doubt over the diagnosis
- A rarer headache disorder may be suspected
- there is more than one type of headache disorder which may complicate your diagnosis
- The treatment is not working well for you
- Your headaches are getting worse/more frequent
Do I need a referral to see a headache specialist?
What questions will I be asked regarding my headaches?
The doctor will need to take a very detailed history about your headaches including your medication (both prescription and over-the-counter drugs), any complementary or alternative remedies you are taking, when your headaches started and how often they occur.
You will probably have a physical examination. This may provide important clues for the doctor. An awkward posture or tenderness in the muscles at the back of the neck, for example, are important to note as they may be a contributory factor to your headache. During your first visit, do ask questions about your condition.
What is the treatment for persistent headaches?
Will I need a follow-up appointment?
What is the price of a headache/migraine consultation and how do I book?
A 30 minute headache consultation with Dr Navjot Dhami is £145, use book online button