Headaches: 10 Questions To Ask Your Doctor (cont.)

Establishing the diagnosis of the headache, arriving at effective treatment(s) for the headache, and taking measures to prevent or reduce headache episodes will require cooperation between you and your doctor. Following are suggestions on how to work with your doctor in diagnosing and managing your headaches.

How Can I Help My Doctor?

Pay attention to your symptom(s) so you can describe your condition as accurately as possible:

  1. What are your headache location, duration, severity (worst ever headache?), and character (dull, sharp, throbbing, etc.)?

  2. What brings them on (for example, certain foods, stress, bright light, fasting, or sleep disturbances)?

  3. What aggravates them (exertion, coughing, bending, or sexual activity)?

  4. What relieves them?

  5. How long have you had these headaches? Have you had these headaches since childhood?

  6. How frequently do you get headaches? Do they occur on weekdays? Weekends?

  7. Are headaches related to menstruation?

  8. Do other family members have similar headaches?

  9. Are headaches often preceded by warning symptoms such as fatigue, yawning, sleepiness, or euphoria?

  10. Are your headaches associated with visual disturbances, nausea, vomiting, pallor, cold hands and feet, seizures, weakness or unusual sensations of the arm or leg, unsteady gait, slurred speech, or fever?

  11. Has there been a recent head trauma or a fall?
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/9/2014