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Dr. Saha
Dr. Saha, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
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Experience:  35 years of experience
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Camille, My girlfriend has had two very intense and sudden

Customer Question

Hey Camille, My girlfriend has had two very intense and sudden headaches in the past 3 days, she is very worried and was just wondering if these were just tension headaches? She feels dizzy as well and it can be hard for her to even speak past the pain. Thanks
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Saha replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your question.
I am Dr Saha, I shall try my best to help you.

In which part of the head does she feel the pain mostly?

For how long?

Does she have any other past history? or any other symptom?

Does she take any regular medicine?

Which other tests were advised?

Expert:  Dr. Arun Phophalia replied 2 years ago.


I am Dr. Arun and will be helping you today.

I am sorry that your question was unanswered for long.

Tension headache is commonest cause of headache; so that would be the first diagnostic possibility. But since these were intense and sudden and dizziness accompanied; these need evaluation. Sinusitis is one of the other common cause for headaches. Migraine too is a possibility. I would also like to rule out a brain tumor which though is rare; but need evaluation if this recurs or any neurological issues arise like weakness in limbs or vision disturbances.

Most headaches are caused by following:

Tension-type headache

Migraine headache

Chronic daily headache

Cluster headache

Chronic daily headache is not a type of headache but frequent headaches of various kinds. Most people with chronic daily headache have migraine or tension-type headache as the underlying type of headache. Tension headaches are the most common type of primary headache. So probably this would be the first to be considered in the differential diagnosis of her headache also. A tension headache is a headache caused by tense muscles in the face, neck, or scalp. These headaches give a feeling of tightness around the head. The neck muscles can also become sore and tight. Tension headaches can be caused by staying in one position for a long time, such as reading, playing video games or using a computer.

Migraine headaches are the second most common type of primary headache. Cluster headaches are a rare type primary headache.

Nausea and dizziness can occur in migraine headache but it is difficult to differentiate between migraine and tension type headache without an examination. There are other causes of headache also;

1) sinus headache; with your history of nose block surgery, this can be a possibility.

2) Medication overuse headache

3) Post trauma headache; occur after injury or accident.

4) Secondary headache; brain tumor.

Usually a doctor's examination is sufficient to ascertain the cause of headache. But occasionally x-ray of the sinus and CT scan or MRI of the brain may be needed, especially if the headache is persisting for long, or is worsening or is recurrent or is severe and is accompanied by symptoms like vomiting, dizziness, vision disturbances and imbalance. After the tension headaches commonest headaches are migraine.

Please feel free for your follow up questions.

I would be happy to assist you further, if you need any more information.

Thanks for using Just Answer.

Expert:  Dr. Saha replied 2 years ago.

Hello again,

You have asked about your girlfriend.

So question of your nose block surgery does not arise here.

You have not given any such information about surgery.

There is no history of chronic headache too, just two episodes.

Brain tumor usually shows up in CT unless too small.

However, a leaking aneurysm or bleed may not come up in CT.

MRangio can be needed to rule those out.

It would be safer to rule an organic cause first though anxiety can play a role.

If there’s anything else I can do, please let me know.