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Suggest remedies for persistent headache

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Posted on Wed, 25 Oct 2017
Question: I have had a pretty much constant headache for about 4 weeks. I have an appt. to get my eyes checked tomorrow but if they are ok where do I go from here. Also my hair is really falling out.
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Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (45 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Don't wait to call your doctor.

Detailed Answer:
Hello and welcome,

It is good that you are getting your eyes checked tomorrow, but I highly recommend that first thing tomorrow you make an appointment with your primary care doctor (or one of his/her partners) to be seen ASAP. Your doctor will take a history, do a neurological exam, and if he/she doesn't think it is due to tension (which I doubt it is if it has been for 4 weeks), or something else that is fairly obvious, such as a sinus infection or allergies, he/she should order a head CT or MRI. If they don't suggest this, demand one.

In addition, some blood work is needed. I would get a complete chemistry panel to look for any abnormalities that might reflect electrolyte imbalances, a CBC to look for occult infection or abnormalities of white blood cell counts or anemia, and a TSH and free T4 (thyroid tests) to look for thyroid abnormalities which can go with your hair falling out.

If you are on any new medications, these should be reviewed for the possibility of them causing your symptoms (both head and for hair loss). If you work with or use any chemicals, stop or avoid these. Avoid getting your hair colored or treated until this is resolved, and if you pull it back tightly, avoid this too. If you take supplemental Vitamin A, stop that for awhile too.

Stress from pain and illness can cause rapid hair loss too, but both of these symptoms (headache and hair loss) should be evaluated.

If your headaches get worse before you can get in to see your doctor or one of his/her partners, then go to the ER.

I hope this information helps. If you are willing, please let me know how you are doing after you have been evaluated by your doctor.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (38 hours later)
Thank you so much for your reply. Used your site because I am away from home for the next 3 weeks visiting my mother who just turned 105! My appt at the optometrist was canceled because he had a medical emergency. Guess I will try someone else rather than wait. I called my mother's GP and he can see me next week.
I guess I should have seen someone before I left but I really thought it would clear up as I never have headaches except for a very occassional migraine.
Once again thank you for your advice.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (10 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Your welcome

Detailed Answer:
I'm glad to hear you are following up on this.

If your headaches get worse, though, please don't wait for your mother's doctor but go to the ER where they can get a head CT done in an efficient amount of time.

Hoping this is resolved soon and you are feeling pain free again.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (1 hour later)
Thx again. I feel better having your advice.
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Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (20 hours later)
Brief Answer:
You can ask anytime

Detailed Answer:
Good luck to you.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 3138 Questions

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Suggest remedies for persistent headache

Brief Answer: Don't wait to call your doctor. Detailed Answer: Hello and welcome, It is good that you are getting your eyes checked tomorrow, but I highly recommend that first thing tomorrow you make an appointment with your primary care doctor (or one of his/her partners) to be seen ASAP. Your doctor will take a history, do a neurological exam, and if he/she doesn't think it is due to tension (which I doubt it is if it has been for 4 weeks), or something else that is fairly obvious, such as a sinus infection or allergies, he/she should order a head CT or MRI. If they don't suggest this, demand one. In addition, some blood work is needed. I would get a complete chemistry panel to look for any abnormalities that might reflect electrolyte imbalances, a CBC to look for occult infection or abnormalities of white blood cell counts or anemia, and a TSH and free T4 (thyroid tests) to look for thyroid abnormalities which can go with your hair falling out. If you are on any new medications, these should be reviewed for the possibility of them causing your symptoms (both head and for hair loss). If you work with or use any chemicals, stop or avoid these. Avoid getting your hair colored or treated until this is resolved, and if you pull it back tightly, avoid this too. If you take supplemental Vitamin A, stop that for awhile too. Stress from pain and illness can cause rapid hair loss too, but both of these symptoms (headache and hair loss) should be evaluated. If your headaches get worse before you can get in to see your doctor or one of his/her partners, then go to the ER. I hope this information helps. If you are willing, please let me know how you are doing after you have been evaluated by your doctor.