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Headache treatment, diagnosis & prescriptions

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Can a doctor treat headaches on Maple?

Yes. A doctor on Maple will be able to offer headache treatment recommendations once they’ve determined the type of headache you’re experiencing.

To offer an accurate headache diagnosis, the doctor will want to discuss the region where your headache is centralized and your symptoms. This will help determine whether you’re experiencing a primary or secondary headache.

Then, they’ll most likely want to evaluate your medical history and discuss any other conditions you may be experiencing.

If they believe you could be experiencing a secondary headache caused by another underlying condition, they may suggest you have headache tests performed to try and determine the condition causing your headache.

Can I get a prescription on Maple?

Yes. Physicians on Maple can prescribe headache medications online during your consultation. Once you accept a headache prescription, you’ll have the option to pick it up from any pharmacy or have it delivered to your door at no additional cost.

You can visit our How it works page to learn more.

What is a headache?

A headache is pain that’s located in any area of the head.

Headaches can be contained to one small area, affect one or both sides of the head, trigger a vice-like, crushing sensation, or radiate out from one specific spot.

What are the types of headaches?

There are two distinct types of headaches: Primary and Secondary.

Types of primary headaches include:

  • Migraines, with or without auras
  • Tension headaches
  • Cluster headaches
  • Chronic daily headaches, including hemicranias continua, chronic tension-type headaches, and chronic migraine headaches
  • Trigeminal autonomic cephalalgia (TAC)
  • Exercise headaches
  • Cough headaches
  • Sex headaches
  •  Hypnic headaches

Types of secondary headaches include:

  • Spinal headaches
  • Ice cream headaches
  • Sinus headaches
  • Thunderclap headaches
  • Medication overuse headaches
  • External compression headaches
What is the difference between sinus headaches and migraines?

A migraine headache is characterized by forehead or facial pressure over the sinuses. It can also cause nasal congestion and a runny nose.

A sinus headache has the same symptoms, as well as possible fever, pus from the nose, and foul-smelling breath.

While migraines and sinus headaches are two different things, in as many as 90% of self-diagnosed cases, sinus headaches are actually migraines.

Talk to a doctor on Maple and have them evaluate your headache symptoms so that they can determine the kind of headache you’re experiencing and help you with your headache management.

What are the symptoms of headaches?

There’s a wide array of possible symptoms that can be brought on by different types of headaches.

The most common symptoms associated with headaches, apart from pain, are:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Eye pain, especially when surrounded by bright lights
  • Dizziness
  • Vertigo
  • Scalp tenderness
  • Tightness in the head
  • Earache
  • Jaw or tooth pain, caused by clenching
  • Stroke, in very rare cases
What causes headaches?

The two types of headaches have very different causes.

A primary headache isn’t caused by an underlying disease. It’s usually caused by overactivity or problems with the pain-sensitive structures located in your head.

Some common primary headache causes include:

  • Changes in sleep
  • Lack of sleep
  • Poor posture
  • Skipped meals
  • Alcohol, particularly from red wine
  • Certain foods, particularly those that are high in nitrates
  • Stress

A secondary headache is a symptom of another disease or condition that’s affecting the pain-sensitive nerves in the head. There’s a large variety of diseases that can cause this type of headache.

Some possible causes for secondary headaches include:

  • Blood clot within the brain (venous thrombosis)
  • Concussion
  • Intracranial hematoma
  • Meningitis
  • Acute sinusitis
  • Stroke
  • Encephalitis
  • Dehydration
  • Arterial tears
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
  • Brain tumor
  • Brain aneurysm
  • Chiari malformation
  • COVID-19
  • Hangovers
  • Panic attacks or disorder
  • Hypertension
  • Ear infection
  • Brain arteriovenous malformation (AVM)
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Overuse of pain medication
  • Dental problems
  • Toxoplasmosis
  • Post-concussion syndrome
  • Influenza
  • Glaucoma
  • Giant cell arteritis
  • Pseudotumor cerebri
  • Trigeminal neuralgia and other neuralgias
What causes tension headaches?

A tension headache is usually caused when the neck and scalp muscles contract or become tense.

This can be the result of depression, anxiety, or a head injury, but the most common cause of tension headaches is stress.

How are headaches treated?

A doctor may recommend different options to treat a headache.

Headache treatment suggestions will depend on how your doctor diagnoses your headache and the symptoms you’re experiencing. The goal will be to find a headache therapy that works for your specific headache type.

The most common generic headache treatments include:

  • Hot or cold compressed, applied to the forehead, or neck
  • Massage therapy
  • Small amounts of caffeine
  • Resting in a quiet, dark space
  • Over-the-counter headache remedies (ibuprofen, acetaminophen)
How are hypnic headaches treated?

Hypnic headaches are a rare type of headache that can occur in the middle of the night while you’re sleeping. They normally last between 15 minutes and 3 hours.

It can be difficult to find relief from these headaches, but the most common ways to treat hypnic headaches include:

  • Lithium carbonate
  • Caffeine
  • Flunarizine
  • Indomethacin
  • Melatonin
  • Topiramate
What is Maple?

With Maple, you can start talking to a doctor about your symptoms in minutes. We’re a healthcare platform for fast, convenient 24/7 access to Canadian doctors.

Simply log in, tap a button to request a consultation, and we’ll connect you to a doctor via live chat or video. You can visit our How it works page to learn more.

Our doctors can assess symptoms and provide treatment, including prescriptions as necessary.

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