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When to see a Neurologist for your Headache

Headaches are one of the most common types of pain that a person can experience. Everybody experiences a headache at some time in their life. Most headaches are a mere annoyance and not a serious health concern, but that does not mean that you should never see a doctor for a headache. Here are the most common causes of headaches, and how to tell when it's time to see a neurologist / headache specialist.


Tension headache - The most common headache type is the tension headache. These headaches are painful and annoying, but not usually incapacitating. They can be worsened in times of stress, so you may need to reduce the amount of stress in your life if you're getting a lot of tension headaches. Most of the time, tension headaches can be relieved with over-the-counter pain medications. Rarely, a person may have chronic tension headaches.

Migraine Unlike a Tension Headache, a migraine is usually incapacitating. In addition to severe headache pain, a person with a migraine headache may also experience sensitivity to light and sound, nausea and vomiting. A person with migraine headaches may take over-the-counter pain medications, but this does not always stop a migraine. A person who gets migraines may get one every once in a while or suffer from frequent, chronic migraines.

Cluster headache Another type of severe headache is called a cluster headache. Cluster headaches are more rare than migraines. They are more painful and usually will not respond to over-the-counter medication, but they do not have associated symptoms like nausea. They also typically occur on one side of the head. While migraines are more common in women, cluster headaches are more common in men.

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