Your doctor will be able to diagnose
cluster headaches with a
medical history and
physical exam. Cluster headaches have a classic set of
symptoms, so your doctor usually can make a diagnosis based on your description
of the headaches. Imaging tests are not commonly needed to help find a
treatment for your pain.
If your cluster headaches are not helped
by treatment, become chronic, or didn't begin until you were over age 50, your
doctor may order imaging tests to rule out other causes for the headaches.
Imaging tests may also be ordered if the pattern or symptoms of your headaches
change, you develop a serious medical condition such as cancer or diabetes, or
the headaches are triggered by physical exertion, sex, coughing, or
Migraines are a type of headache that tend to cause more than just head pain. The symptoms include nausea and vision problems.
A migraine headache can last for a few hours a day to several hours. But a migraine attack that lasts for more than 72 hours is called status migrainosus. This may require hospital treatment to relieve the pain and treat dehydration from vomiting.
A typical migraine can sometimes turn into status migrainosus if:
The migraine isn't treated early and treatment is delayed...
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the head. An MRI can detect changes in the normal
structure of your brain. It may be ordered to rule out other serious medical
problems such as brain tumors, blood clots, or a bulge in the wall of a blood
vessel (aneurysm). But most headaches are not caused by these
more serious conditions.
Talking with your doctor may help you decide whether to
have imaging tests to evaluate your headaches. For more information on this
Should I have imaging tests to evaluate my headaches?
If your symptoms are not clearly related to cluster
headaches, your doctor may order
additional tests such as blood or urine tests to rule
out other causes.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
April 11, 2008
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this