We usually ask a general practitioner to assess
a headache before a neurology referral is requested. The reason for this is as the cause
of the headache can be multiple. Many non-neurological problems such as an ear, nose, throat abnormality
such as sinusitis or dental abnormalities such as abnormal tooth or a tooth abscess
can present with a headache. And it is important that these problems reach the correct specialty.
Also, some headaches need more urgent action than a neurologist can offer and should be
seen in the emergency department. Headaches as defined by us neurologists can be primary
headaches or secondary headaches. The primary headaches are often caused by a genetic or
neurological abnormality such as migraines or cluster headaches. The secondary headache
syndrome can be multiple. This can be caused by medication side effects, poor sleep at
night or even overuse of caffeine. But in a practical way, headaches are best defined
as headaches with an underlying severe medical condition. And that which are not particularly
troublesome or worrisome. And this best be defined by a general practitioner or a neurologist.