Your Headache History
When evaluating your headaches, your health-care provider will usually begin by asking about your symptoms — a process that is often called "taking a history." He or she will want to know the following things about your headaches:
The issue of headache triggers is especially important. Some people develop headaches for no apparent reason, but others learn to recognize certain factors that make their headaches appear. Figuring out your headache triggers may be an important step toward controlling and relieving your symptoms.
Your health-care provider will also ask about your other medical problems, the drugs that you take and whether you are allergic to or intolerant of certain drugs.
Although your health-care provider's questions may not always seem relevant, he or she will rely on the answers you give to make a specific diagnosis and to plan your treatment. The health-care provider often will focus on certain features of your headaches to narrow the list of possible diagnoses. For example, he or she will suspect a diagnosis of migraine if you experience nausea during the headaches. It is therefore crucial that you provide as much information as possible. Being honest about how much alcohol or caffeine you drink, about how many over-the-counter drugs you take, about stresses in your life or poor sleep habits can have a major impact on deciding what treatment may help you the most.