Tools for Sufferers

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At the National Headache Foundation, we know knowledge is the best weapon for battling headache and migraine. Here is a compilation of tools to help you in your journey towards understanding your disorder and getting better treatment.

See your physician immediately or go to an emergency department if:

  • You are having your worst headache ever
  • You are having your worst migraine attack ever
  • Your headache is accompanied by the following symptoms:
    • Unresolved loss of vision
    • Loss of consciousness
    • Uncontrollable vomiting
    • The pain of your headache lasts more than 72 hours with less than a solid four-hour, pain-free period while awake
    • You experience a headache or a migraine attack that presents unusual symptoms that are abnormal for you and frightening
When to see your physician for your headache

Some individuals are reluctant to seek help because they don’t want to arrive only to learn that nothing out of the ordinary is wrong. Please, don’t be concerned about that; use this guide to see if you need medical assistance.

Talking to your headache doctor

Dawn A. Marcus, M.D., describes the importance of establishing strong communication with your healthcare provider.

Ten steps for better communication

Effective physician/patient communication is increasingly important given today’s time constraints for office visits and the variety of new treatment options available. Seek help. Be a self-advocate. You owe it to yourself.

Tools for headache management and diagnosis

Access treatment forms, headache diaries, and other useful tools for managing your headache pain.

Avoiding dietary triggers

Be your own expert by keeping a log of the foods you have eaten before a migraine attack, and see whether the removal of these foods from your diet reduces or eliminates your headaches.

Keep a headache diary 

Keeping detailed records of headache episodes can help provide additional insight about triggers and how to avoid them.