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A headache is pain or discomfort in the head or face area. Headaches can vary greatly with regards to location, intensity and frequency. Read more about the types of headaches.
Headaches may be caused by a number of conditions, such as disorders of the neck, eyes, brain, jaw, or teeth. Headaches with an underlying medical condition are classified as secondary headaches because they are related to the condition. An example of this would be a headache due to neck injury or sinus infection.
Other headaches are classified as primary because the headache itself is the main medical problem, although associated factors, such as muscle tension or exposure to certain foods, may be identified. Other contributing factors may include medications, dehydration, or changing levels of hormones. These factors that influence headaches are sometimes called headache triggers.
Your doctor will take a full medical history to help diagnosis your headaches. This is the first and often the most important part of a headache diagnosis. Your doctor will ask questions about the type of headache pain you experience, including:
Chronic headache pain can be both frustrating and debilitating. Identifying your type of headache pain is the first step is managing the pain and finding successful treatment options. Learn more about headache treatments.