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Types of Headaches & When to See A Doctor

Dallas Urgent Care Doctors • Headache

Almost everyone at some point in his or her life will experience a headache. While the vast majority of headaches are due to stress, overwork, or fatigue, the sudden onset of a severe headache accompanied by vomiting, mental confusion, or the loss of speech should be immediately evaluated in the Emergency Room.

In general, headaches are divided into two main categories: primary headaches and secondary headaches. Primary headaches are unrelated to an underlying health condition whereas secondary headaches are associated with other medical symptoms like fever, concussion, sinus pain, or low blood sugar.

Primary Headaches

Since primary headache is not associated with an underlying health condition in any obvious way, if you have recurring headaches unaccompanied by other symptoms, it is best if you talk to your doctor about them. In general, there are three kinds of primary headache – migraine, tension, and cluster. While these kinds of headaches are often benign, they can also be a symptom of an underlying condition.

In general, there are three kinds of primary headache:

  • Migraine headache – Caused by a reduced flow of blood to areas within the cerebral cortex, migraine sufferers are often extra sensitive to light and sound. In some cases, a migraine can cause visual disturbances referred to as “migraine aura“ that resemble shards of broken, flickering glass in the center or periphery of your vision. In some cases, a migraine can cause vomiting, speech problems, tingling along one arm, and throbbing on one side of the head.
  • Tension headache – Tension headaches are typically caused by stress. When a person is under pressure at work or emotional stress at home, he or she may tense their shoulders or neck without even noticing it. As a result, strain is placed on the muscles along the head and neck leading to a dull, aching pain. Tension headaches can also lead to a feeling of soreness in the eyes or along the brow and stiffness and soreness in the neck.
  • Cluster headache – Cluster headaches typically occur on one side of the head and recur often over the course of a few weeks or a month. Cluster headaches are usually felt around the eyes.

Headaches – When to see Your Doctor

While most headaches are not serious and can be treated with over-the-counter medication, others may be associated with an underlying medical condition. If you’ve never really had a problem with headaches but have recently started to experience them, it’s best to consult a doctor to determine their cause. Headaches can be a symptom of high blood pressure, the need for glasses or a change in your prescription, hormonal changes, electrolyte imbalance, prescription drugs, or overwork.

At Hillcrest Medical, our doctors can review your medical history and order tests if necessary to rule out potential health conditions that could be causing your headaches. Call Hillcrest Medical at (214) 368-3800 today to schedule an appointment or visit our urgent care facility to receive immediate care if you are experiencing migraine symptoms that are interfering with your ability to function.

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