Diagnosis Of Symptoms

Differential Diagnosis of Headaches

While a headache may be the most common ailment affecting mankind, it still requires comprehensive diagnosis to be treated appropriately. Here, we take a look at differential diagnosis of headaches and how it may help in treatment of the condition.

What is differential diagnosis?
In medical terms, differential diagnosis signifies the probability of a disease as compared to another which accounts for a patient's sickness. For example, the differential diagnosis of rhinitis could include allergic rhinitis and decongestant abuse and common cold.

How differential diagnosis works?
The process of differential diagnosis includes the examination of the basic factors and parallel phenomena which contribute to a particular condition. This is done in adherence to several frames of reference or theoretical paradigms and compared with known facts of pathology as well as exceptionality.

How differential diagnosis helps
This type of diagnosis helps the doctor understand the ailment better and assess reasonable predictions. This also helps eliminate any condition which may be potentially life threatening and also allows for planning of appropriate treatment measures for the disease.

Common headaches in different parts of the head
Differential diagnosis of a headache is of great importance as it helps determine whether the pain is simply a common condition requiring little concern or associated with something more serious. Anatomic conditions go a long way in identifying the problem with different parts of the head being prone to specific types of weaknesses. Therefore, the probability of a disease is directly related to the part of the head it affects.

For example, sunstroke often triggers a headache from sun burnt skin. Scalp abscesses can also cause headaches, though, in rare cases. Similarly, a pain in the head muscles can indicate muscle traction headache which is also the most common headache that people suffer from. However, this particular condition may also be associated with others such as migraine or eye strain or even constant tension or holding of the head in the same position. Fibromyosistis is which is of rheumatic etiology can also trigger headaches.

Diagnosing the headaches correctly
For those experiencing their first serious headache, it is absolutely vital to check for neurological conditions as well as other serious ailments such as brain tumor, meningitis etc. If there are any signs and symptoms of neurological issues or nuchal rigidity, the patient has to be referred immediately to a trained neurologist or neurosurgeon for further treatment. Tests for temporal arteritis are also recommended for the elderly.

Patients who test positive for chronic or recurring headaches with negative indications for neurological findings should be monitored during the attack to determine the exact cause which could be anything from migraine to allergic rhinitis. Treatment can then be administered according to the findings.

Thus, the process of differential diagnosis of headaches can go a long way in helping both- doctors as well as the patients understand the specific cause of a disease and apply preventive methods or cure accordingly.