There are various ways headaches inflict their misery—from a dull pain accompanied by pressure or tightness as though a clamp is squeezing your skull, to severe or explosive pain as though a clap of thunder has stricken your head.
Almost everyone experiences headaches at least occasionally, but there are people who regularly suffer from a continuum of attacks. If you belong to the latter group, you want to get to the bottom of your headaches, so you can take the necessary steps to keep them from affecting your quality of life.
Let’s discuss the different tests that doctors typically use to diagnose the cause of headaches.
Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan
A CT scan is a type of imaging test that uses special X-rays to produce cross-sectional images of the inside of your head. Your doctor may order this test, if your headache is accompanied by other symptoms or has become frequent and debilitating, to confirm or rule out a tumor or other structural brain abnormalities.
During a head CT scan, the scanner’s X-ray beam rotates around your head, producing a series of images from different angles. The information then gets sent to a computer, which interprets the data and displays it in a two-dimensional (2D) form on a monitor.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
An MRI uses powerful magnetic fields and radio waves to create images of the structures in your head. Like a CT scan, an MRI creates detailed images of the internal structures of the brain as well as the brain stem. It checks for intracerebral hemorrhage (bleeding), aneurysms, infection, stroke, tumors, and trauma, as well as congenital conditions and developmental abnormalities, among other problems.
It’s worth mentioning that these imaging tests are not always necessary. Unless your headache is disruptive, or occurs alongside other symptoms, such as sensory changes, nausea, fever, or confusion, your doctor may just review your medical history, diet and lifestyle, and current health condition in order to determine its cause or triggers.
Headache Treatment in Wellington, FL
If your headaches have become concerning, do not wait to seek medical attention. Turn to your primary care doctor, who can thoroughly evaluate your symptoms and determine whether or not you need medical imaging tests and specialized care.
If you’re searching for a reliable primary care physician within the Wellington area in Florida, visit us here at Advanced Medical. Dr. Ishan Gunawardene, our board-certified internal medicine physician, will carry out a comprehensive assessment to pinpoint the cause of your headaches and coordinate your care with a neurologist for effective management, if need be.
Schedule an appointment with Dr. Gunawardene today. Call our clinic at (561) 434-1935 or use our online request form.