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"What kind of treatments should I seek for my persistent headaches?"
I'm a 34-year-old female with asthma and a history of seasonal allergies. I'm not taking any medications. Recently I have been having serious, debilitating headaches. The only other symptom that comes with the pain is nausea - no auras, spots, tunnel vision, etc. If I take three regular-strength Tylenol at the onset, it will occasionally stop it, but not always. I have been prescribed nasal steroids and a migraine medication that lowered my blood pressure and neither one helped.
There are many different types of headaches, such as sinus, tension, cluster, and migraine headaches and the treatment differs for each. It is important to determine what type of headache you are having so that you can get the appropriate treatment. Make an appointment with your primary care doctor to have a thorough history and physical.
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Depending on the results your doctor might order blood work, imaging, refer you to a neurologist, or prescribe medications or lifestyle changes. In order to assist your doctor in making the appropriate diagnosis it is very helpful to start keeping a headache diary. Make note of what days of the month you are getting your headaches, what you ate that day, level of stress, how much sleep you had gotten, and anything else that you feel might be related to your headaches. Some general tips on preventing headaches include getting a good nights sleep (at least 8 hours for most people), drinking plenty of water as dehydration is a common cause of headaches, and decreasing stress. Once a headache does occur, try taking over the counter pain relievers such as the Tylenol or ibuprofen and drink a big glass of water and try to lay down in a dark room if possible.
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