Most people have experienced a headache probably more than a few times throughout their life. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) the prevalence of current, chronic headache disorders in adults is 50%. (https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/headache-disorders) Headaches are also the leading cause of disability in people under the age of 50. (https://neurologyassociatesva.com/symptoms-that-determine-when-to-see-a-neurologist-in-dulles-or-leesburg-va-for-your-headaches/) These are patients who have had headaches on 15 days (or even more) out of every month. It is quite common to think that just taking an over-the-counter medication can relieve a headache. However, those suffering from a headache disorder experience pain that is debilitating and disrupts normal life despite over the counter remedies. Dulles neurologist, Dr. Sarbjot Dulai, explains the symptoms of 4 types of headaches to watch for, and when to see a neurologist for help with headaches when they affect your life.
What are the 4 types of headaches to watch out for?
The most common type of vascular headache is a migraine. These types of headaches are characterized by severe pain, on one or both sides of the head, as well as disturbed vision, nausea, light sensitivity, and hearing sensitivity. Cluster headaches are also another type categorized as a vascular headache. This involves repeated bouts of intense headache pain caused by high blood pressure.
2. Muscle Contraction (otherwise known as a tension headache)
This type of headache can occur when the neck and scalp muscles tense up or contract creating the sensation of having a vice pressing on your head. These contractions can be a response to depression, stress, and anxiety.
Symptoms of other disorders such as stroke, tumors, hematoma, infection of the neck, ears, and teeth can cause traction headaches. Working with your doctor and relaying all your symptoms will help with the diagnosis and treatment for this type of headache.
Just like traction headaches, inflammatory headaches can also be a symptom of another disorder such as meningitis and spinal disease. Headaches, just like pain in other parts of our body, are sometimes our bodies giving warning that something more serious is happening inside us.
That is why if you are experiencing any of these headaches on a daily basis you may want to make an appointment with Leesburg neurologist, Dr. Sarbjot Dulai, as soon as possible.
When to see a neurologist
Symptoms to look for when deciding if you should seek the help of a neurologist are:
- A severe headache with a stiff neck
- A headache with confusion, weakness, double vision, or light-headedness
- A headache that worsens over time (days or weeks) or has changed in pattern from headaches the patient is typically used to
- Severe headache with a fever, nausea or vomiting that is not related to another illness
- Loss of sensation or weakness in parts of the body with a headache
- 2 or more headaches every week
- Headache with shortness of breath
- Persistent headache(s) in a person who has not previously ever had a headache.
Diagnosis can be made by going through the patient’s history, doing a neurologic examination, and in some cases imaging of the brain itself (i.e., MRI). Your neurologist can then help create a custom treatment for you, your body’s needs, and your lifestyle.
Don’t suffer unnecessarily, contact a neurologist today!
If you or a loved one are experiencing any of the aforementioned headaches, schedule an appointment with your Neurology Associates today. With an in-depth history and neurologic exam, Dr. Dulai can start creating the best way to treat your headaches.
If you want to learn more about headaches, please look at our patient resources page (https://neurologyassociatesva.com/patient-education/#toggle-id-9). Don’t let chronic headaches steal your joy, contact Neurology Associates today at (703) 726-6393 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Dulai!