- Drink water to avoid getting dehydrated, especially if you have vomited
- Rest in a quiet, dark room
- Place a cool cloth on your head
- Use any relaxation techniques you have learned
- The date and time the headache began
- What you ate for the past 24 hours
- How long you slept the night before
- What you were doing and thinking about just before the headache started
- Any stress in your life
- How long the headache lasted
- What you did to make it stop
- This is the first headache you have ever had in your life and it interferes with your daily activities
- Your headache comes on suddenly and is explosive or violent
- You would describe your headache as “your worst ever,” even if you regularly get headaches
- You also have slurred speech, a change in vision, problems moving your arms or legs, loss of balance, confusion, or memory loss with your headache
- Your headache gets worse over a 24-hour period
- You also have a fever, stiff neck, nausea, and vomiting with your headache
- Your headache occurs with a head injury
- Your headache is severe and just in one eye, with redness in that eye
- You are over age 50 and your headaches just began, especially if you also have vision problems and pain while chewing
- You have cancer and develop a new headache
- Is the headache located in your forehead,
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around your eyes, in the back of your head, near your temples, behind your eyeball, or all over?
- Is the headache on one side only?
- Is this a new type of headache for you?
- Would you describe the headache as throbbing?
- Is there a pressure or band-like sensation?
- When does the headache occur?
- How long have you had headaches?
- How long does each headache last?
- Does the headache wake you up from sleep? Are the headaches worse during the day and better at night?
- Did other symptoms begin shortly after the headaches began? Do you have repeat headaches?
- Does the headache reach maximum intensity over 1 – 2 hours?
- Are the headaches worse when you are lying down? Standing up?
- Are the headaches worse when you cough or strain?
- Do they occur at a specific time related to your menstrual period?
- What home treatment have you tried? How well did it work?
- Blood tests or a lumbar puncture if you may have an infection
- Head CT scan or MRI if you have any danger signs or you’ve been having headaches for a while
- Sinus x-rays
- CT or MR angiography
New York Times health guide 27 October 2014
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