Dealing with Secondary Headaches Wilmington 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.

Wilmington Treatment Center
(910) 762-2727
2520 Troy Drive
Wilmington, NC
specialty
Alcoholism/Other chemical dependancy
Hospital Type
Investor-owned (for profit)

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J Arthur Dosher Mem Hospital
(910) 457-3800
924 Howe Street
Southport, NC
specialty
General medical surgical
Hospital Type
Nongovernment, Not-for-profit

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Wilmington Treatment Center
(910) 762-2727
2520 Troy Drive
Wilmington, NC
Specialty
Hospitals

New Hanover Regional Medical Center
(910) 343-7000
2131 S 17th St Box 9000
Wilmington, NC
Specialty
Hospitals

J Arthur Dosher Memorial Hospital
(910) 457-3888
924 Howe St
Southport, NC
Specialty
Hospitals

New Hanover Regional Med Ctr
(910) 343-7000
2131 South 17th Street
Wilmington, NC
specialty
General medical surgical
Hospital Type
Government, Nonfederal
Hospital System
New Hanover Health Network

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Wilmington Treatment Center
(910) 762-2727
2520 Troy Drive
Wilmington, NC
Medicare Number
340168
Bed Count
27

New Hanover Regional Med Ctr
(910) 343-7000
2131 South 17th Street
Wilmington, NC
Medicare Number
0
Bed Count
559

J Arthur Dosher Mem Hospital
(910) 457-3800
924 Howe Street
Southport, NC
Medicare Number
340121
Bed Count
100

Presbyterian Hospital-Matthews
(704) 384-6500
1500 Matthews Township Pkwy
Matthews, NC
specialty
General medical surgical
Hospital Type
Nongovernment, Not-for-profit
Hospital System
Novant Health

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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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