People with headaches are not only concerned with seeking relief, but are often worried that their headaches may mean something more serious, such as a brain tumour.Although nearly everyone at some time has a headache, it is only when the headaches become severe or frequent and interfere with daily living that a doctor’s advice is sought. Migraine affects approximately one in five people, but only a small percentage of these go to their doctor.
HistoryThe most important aspect of a consultation with the doctor is the taking of a history. With headaches as the chief complaint, the doctor asks about the type of headache, its duration and frequency, site, aggravating and relieving factors, accompanying symptoms such as nausea or visual disturbance, as well as the family history and information about previous illnesses. In most cases a definite diagnosis can be made at this stage and the physical examination and special investigations will merely confirm the diagnosis.