There is no specific cause for headaches.
The main causes are: migraine headaches, sinusitis, fever, trauma and high blood pressure.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
Headache is a very common symptom.
However, the location, context, medical history can easily help the doctor find an etiology.
For example, accompanying signs can be alarming and may lead to an emergency:
Jet vomiting, high fever and stiffness in the neck may suggest meningitis. Sudden headaches, at their worst, may evoke a meningeal hemorrhage…
But in the majority of cases, the causes are benign and the symptoms disappear within a few hours.
The treatment is that of pain: paracetamol (1 gram, 4 times a day). But also that of the cause (treatment of tension, emptying the nose, treatment of fever…).
In case of migraine, there are also several simple, non-drug gestures to relieve headaches: move to a dark, quiet room, lie down, close your eyes and try not to move your head. Someone can massage your head at the temples and put a cold towel on your forehead.
WHEN SHOULD I SEE A DOCTOR?
It is necessary to consult when your headaches are frequent or do not stop 24 hours after taking medication. The doctor will carry out a precise interrogation and examination to know the appearance, frequency, associated symptoms, medications already taken, etc…
HOW TO PREVENT HEADACHES?
Each cause of headache is specific, so is its prevention.
For example, in the case of migraine headaches, it is advisable to avoid stress, coffee, lack of sleep…
WHAT NOT TO DO
Repeated and prolonged use of medication, even paracetamol, without knowing the possible cause(s). After 4 days without an identified cause, it is important to consult.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Except in specific cases, in the vast majority of cases, interrogation and clinical examination are sufficient to establish a diagnosis and initiate treatment. Complementary examinations (X-rays, MRIs, scans, etc.) are prescribed only rarely.
Doctor Yohan Servais, General Practitioner