Dr Lucio D’Anna is a Consultant Neurologist at the Department of Stroke & Neurosciences at Imperial College London NHS Trust. He is also Honorary Senior Lecturer at the Division of Brain Sciences, Imperial College London.
Headache pain can be one-sided and throbbing, or feel like a constant ache or pressure around the head, especially at the temples or back of the head and neck. Headache pain can also sometimes be associated with wider symptoms, including dizziness, nausea and vomiting and visual disturbances. Symptoms may come and go in episodes or after certain ‘triggers’, or may become chronic and ongoing. Before seeing a headache specialist from our London team, it is a good idea to keep a diary of your symptom patterns, as this can be a useful indicator of the type of headaches you are experiencing and whether any specific triggers are involved.
While everyone gets the occasional headache from time to time – very often due to something as simple as dehydration – for people with severe or chronic headaches that are problematic and having a significant negative impact on their life and wellbeing, getting an accurate diagnosis can be very important. Seeing a headache specialist is usually the best way to go about this, especially if you have been using over-the-counter painkillers and they haven’t helped.
There are different types of headaches, including migraine, tension-type headache and cluster headache. At Dementech Neurosciences’ London headache clinic, we offer a comprehensive approach to diagnosing headaches, including multiaxial assessments of symptoms and investigation of other neuropsychiatric issues associated with headaches, blood and imaging assessments.
We will use blood tests and imaging scans to precisely make the diagnosis and differentiate from other disorders.
If you suffer with severe chronic headaches, an effective treatment plan is usually only possible after your headache type has been accurately diagnosed. Dementech Neurosciences’ London headache specialist team takes a multidisciplinary approach, with a focus on providing state-of-the art care for patients with headache disorders, enabling them to participate in their treatment and facilitate improvement of their symptoms.
Alongside this, we understand that lifestyle measures can also play a key role in managing headaches. This may include taking steps to manage stress in your life, taking up activities to help promote relaxation, and learning about any specific triggers to avoid – depending on your individual symptoms and lifestyle. Our headache specialists will be happy to advise on how self-management and lifestyle techniques can help ensure you feel back in control of your life.