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Dealing with Secondary Headaches Cary NC

Doctors define secondary headaches as those that result from a particular illness. Sometimes these illnesses are very serious and life threatening. Others may be benign but still cause pain and discomfort.

Wakemed Cary Hospital
(919) 233-2300
1900 Kildaire Farm Road
Cary, NC
specialty
General medical surgical
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Nongovernment, Not-for-profit
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WakeMed

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Rex Healthcare
(919) 784-3100
4420 Lake Boone Trail
Raleigh, NC
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General medical surgical
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Dorothea Dix Hospital
(919) 733-5540
3601 Mail SErvice Center
Raleigh, NC
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Psychiatric
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Government, Nonfederal

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Alcoholism Treatment Center
(919) 250-1500
3000 Falstaff Road
Raleigh, NC
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Alcoholism/Other chemical dependancy
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Government, Nonfederal

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Duke University Hospital
(919) 684-8111
Erwin Road
Durham, NC
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General medical surgical
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Nongovernment, Not-for-profit
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Duke University Health System

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Central Prison Hospital
(919) 733-0800
1300 Western Boulevard
Raleigh, NC
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Hospital unit of an institution
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Duke Health Raleigh Hospital
(919) 954-3000
3400 Wake Forest Road
Raleigh, NC
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General medical surgical
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Nongovernment, Not-for-profit
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Duke University Health System

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Wakemed Raleigh Campus
(919) 350-8000
3000 NEw Bern Avenue
Raleigh, NC
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General medical surgical
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WakeMed

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Holly Hill Hospital
(919) 250-7000
3019 Falstaff Road
Raleigh, NC
specialty
Psychiatric
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Investor-owned (for profit)
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Psychiatric Solutions

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Durham Regional Hospital
(919) 470-4000
3643 North Roxboro Road
Durham, NC
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General medical surgical
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Nongovernment, Not-for-profit
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Duke University Health System

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Dealing with Secondary Headaches

Doctors define secondary headaches as those that result from a particular illness. Sometimes these illnesses are very serious and life threatening. Others may be benign but still cause pain and discomfort.

An easily identifiable secondary headache is the one accompanying a sinus infection. Your sinuses are behind the bridge of your nose, in each cheekbone and in your forehead bone. Allergies, infections and tumors cause sinuses to become inflamed. Infections can prevent sinus secretions from draining into the nose, as they need to do. The result is often a headache. Sinus headaches are usually accompanied by a fever.

Another type of secondary headache is the rebound headache. This results either from over use or improper use of medications. For example, if you use a decongestant because you think you have a sinus infection but you really don’t, then you might develop a headache from the decongestant.

If your headaches are so severe or so frequent that you take more of the medication than prescribed by the doctor or instructed on the label or take it more often, you can also get a rebound headache.

It is possible to acquire a dependency upon OTC or prescription medications. If this seems to be happening, you need to consult a physician. If you are resorting to acute treatments more than two times a week, you may be over medicating.

Headaches often result as side effects from use of drugs to treat high blood pressure and depression. Some dental problems also cause headaches.

More serious conditions which result in secondary headaches are: meningitis, cerebrovascular disease, infection, brain tumors, head trauma, diabetes, thyroid disease, temporomandibular joint pain, and glaucoma.

These are rare but there are certain symptoms, called ‘red flags’ which health care providers look for.

They include:

Headaches that get worse with movement and exercise.

Headaches in a person who already has certain medical problems such as high blood pressure, AIDS or cancer.

A sudden onset of severe headaches.

Headaches accompanied by other symptoms such as blurred vision, difficulty walking or talking, dizziness, loss of consciousness, high fever, stiff neck, nausea, disorientation, vomiting, pain in the eye, or a rash.

Headaches which begin following a head injury.

Headaches that always occur on the same side of the head. The location of a headache is an important indicator. Headaches that always occur on the same side of the head are most often secondary headaches.

Headaches reported by a patient with a family history of brain aneurysms.

Headaches that worsen over time

Headaches that are so severe as to interfere with one’s work or daily life.

Headaches that occur on a daily basis.

When these red flags are present, one should consult and be evaluated by a health care provider.

They can pinpoint the underlying medical condition by taking a patient history and ordering various tests such as special blood tests, CT scans, MRI and spinal taps.

The life threatening conditions, of which headaches are symptomatic, are rare. However, it is always wiser to play it safe and seek medical help whenever the ‘red flags’ are present.

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