Is the Diagnosis Migraines or Another Medical Condition?There are many conditions that can cause headaches. Sometimes, these headaches may signify a serious condition, such as meningitis, encephalitis, or temporal arteritis. The healthcare provider will consider these conditions when the headache is new or clearly different from other headaches experienced in the past.
For people with headaches that have occurred for years (known as chronic headaches), the healthcare provider will consider other conditions. Besides migraines, some other possible causes of chronic headaches include:
Depending on your symptoms, your healthcare provider may also consider a transient ischemic attack (TIA or "mini-stroke").
When to Visit Your Healthcare ProviderNearly half of the people in the United States who have migraines do not get diagnosed and treated. The National Headache Foundation suggests that you talk with your healthcare provider about your headaches if:
- You have several headaches per month and each lasts for several hours or days
- Your headaches disrupt your home, work, or school life
- You have nausea, vomiting, vision problems, or other sensory problems.