Headache Specialist

Doctors Of Bellevue Redmond

Internists located in Bellevue, WA

When headaches are interrupting your life with intense pain, vomiting, and visual disturbances, don’t hesitate to contact the Doctors of Bellevue-Redmond clinic. The experienced physicians in Bellevue, Washington see patients of all ages and provide treatment for all types of head pain, including migraines and tension headaches. Call today or schedule an appointment online to learn more.

Headache Q & A

What is a headache?

Headaches are a type of pain that occur anywhere in your head or upper neck. They can affect one side, radiate from one area to another, or feel like a tight band around your head.

Headache pain can vary from person to person and from headache to headache. Some pain is sharp or throbbing, while others might be a dull ache; it ranges in intensity from mild to severe.

Sometimes headaches have additional symptoms like vision disturbances (auras), vomiting, and nausea.

Headaches can also be a chronic condition.

What causes a headache?

When you have a headache, you’re receiving pain signals from the blood vessels, nerves, brain chemicals, and tissue surrounding the brain. To better understand headaches, researchers have organized them into two types based on their causes: primary and secondary.

Primary headaches

Problems or overactivity in pain-sensitive structures causes primary headaches. These include chemicals in the brain, blood vessels and nerves around the skull, and muscles in the head and neck.

Several lifestyle factors can trigger primary headaches, including:

  • Poor posture
  • Changes in or lack of sleep
  • Stress
  • Missed meals
  • Certain foods
  • Exercise

The most common primary headaches include cluster, tension, trigeminal autonomic cephalalgia (TAC), and migraines.

Secondary headaches

In this case, some condition entirely distinct from your headache has triggered the pain-sensitive nerves in the head. A few conditions that can lead to secondary headaches include:

  • Acute sinusitis
  • Ear infection
  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Brain aneurysm or tumor
  • Dehydration
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Panic attacks or anxiety disorders

Common secondary headaches include spinal, sinus, and ice cream headaches.  

How are headaches treated?

To outline an effective treatment plan, your doctor works with you to identify the cause of your headache pain. Doing so includes a full medical exam and discussion of your family history.

Depending on your symptoms, your doctor might recommend a variety of medications that effectively manage headache pain. Some of these include over-the-counter pain medication, prescription pain relievers, beta-blockers, and triptan medications.

Your doctor might also recommend behavioral changes to control your headaches. Some of these treatments may include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Diet and exercise
  • Massage therapy
  • Biofeedback
  • Stress management, like meditation

Call Doctors of Bellevue-Redmond today or schedule an appointment online to learn more about treatment options to manage your headache pain.