- Have you been having recurring headaches for several months? Migraines are chronic headaches that often occur periodically for many years. If you have a new headache or new headache symptoms, be sure to see your doctor.
- Have you been having other health problems besides your headaches? Headache is a common symptom of many medical conditions. If you're having other symptoms besides your headache, be sure to talk to your doctor.
- Did your headaches start after an illness or surgery, or within 1 week of a head injury? Headache may occur after illness or injury. Headaches commonly occur after head injuries with concussions. These post-trauma headaches can mimic migraines and should be evaluated by your doctor.
- How often do you take pain medications for your headaches? Excessive use of over-the-counter and prescription painkillers can cause headaches to become more frequent, more severe, and more difficult to treat. Headaches that occur when you're regularly using pain medications 3 or more days each week are called analgesic overuse headaches or medication overuse headaches, and they need to be treated first by restricting pain medications. Migraine treatments typically won't work if you're also overusing pain medications.
- What do you prefer to do when you get a headache? People with migraine often like to avoid stimulation-retreating to a dark, quiet room, for example. You might also notice that you're especially sensitive to odors and perfumes, and that your skin is sensitive to touch.
- Do your headaches limit your activities? Migraine is a disabling headache, generally causing interference or disruption of your daily routine. While you may need to stay at work when you have a migraine, you might find that you are less efficient, or you might prefer to cut back on evening activities after work because of a migraine.
- Over the last 3 months, have you limited your activities on at least 1 day because of your headaches?
- Do lights bother you when you have a headache?
- Do you get sick to your stomach or nauseated with your headache?
Find out more about this book:The Woman's Migraine Toolkit: Managing Your Headaches from Puberty to Menopause (A DiaMedica Guide to Optimum Wellness)