The first job of a headache specialist is to determine if your headache is due to some underlying medical problem. This can range anywhere form sinus problems, all the way to a brain tumor causing your headaches. Fortunately, majority of the headaches are primary, and only a small minority of patients have headache due to some serious medical problem.
It is important to remember that majority of the secondary headaches have a benign, non-life-threatening cause.
Benign medical conditions causing secondary headaches
- Sinus problems
- Vision problems
- High blood pressure
- Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome
- Post-traumatic headaches
- Pseudotumor cerebri
- Cervical spine degenerative disc disease
- Post-spinal tap
What is more important is to determine if you have a more serious condition causing your headache. These life-threatening conditions can be….well, life threatening. I don’t expect you to diagnose the cause of your secondary headache, however, I do expect you to recognize when your headache is unusual, and seek immediate medical attention.