Headache is one of the most common medical condition:-

A headache is one of the most common medical condition and can occur in almost anybody at
any time. A headache or head pain sometimes can be difficult to describe, but some common
symptoms include throbbing, squeezing, constant, unrelenting, or intermittent. The location may
be in one part of the face or skull or may be generalized involving the whole head.
A headache may arise spontaneously or may be associated with activity or exercise. It may have
acute onset or it may be chronic in nature with or without episodes of increasing severity.
A headache is often associated with nausea & vomiting and sometimes with the blurring of vision.
Any type of a headache should not be taken lightly. Mostly, the culprits behind recurring
headaches can be a migraine, or serious causes such as a tumor, infection, TB, and hemorrhage.
To diagnose such conditions, we need imaging of the brain. CT and MRI examinations are
called imaging tests because they take pictures, or images, of the inside of the body. CT is fast
and easily available, however, uses radiations and has inferior images quality of brain as
compared to MRI. An MRI test can be helpful in diagnosing the cause as it creates clear images
of the brain with the help of magnetic fields and radio waves, without employing any harmful X-
rays. With the help of magnetic fields images of the brain and spinal cord can be created which
will further determine the cause of a headache. The imaging informs doctors about the workings
of the brain and the functioning chemicals inside the brain.

You may need a CT scan or an MRI if you have unusual headaches. See your health care provider and request for MRI/CT scan if:

 You frequently suffer from headaches which are not relieved by any medications. Your headaches happen after you have been physically active.
 You have been suffering from a continuous headache for the past two weeks.
 You suddenly develop a very severe headache which feels like something is bursting
inside your head.
 Your headaches are different from other headaches you’ve had, especially if you are
age 50 or older.
 You have headaches with other serious symptoms, such as a loss of control, a seizure
or fit, or a change in speech or alertness.
Some neurologists routinely advise imaging with MRI or CT in every patient above 50 yrs with
a headache or a recently developed headache in above 40yrs patients.
An MRI brings clarity to the diagnosis and can easily diagnose the underlying medical cause of
a headache.
When the MRI scan is done, the computer creates some images of the brain or other body parts
which were scanned and then it is copied on a film from where the radiologist or doctor
interprets the images. This type of imaging can demonstrate any abnormality or problem with
the tissues and fluid inside the brain.

An MRI scanner is a doughnut-shaped machine, with an extension for the patient to lie down.
The patient lies on the elongated extension and then he/she is inserted into the inner circle of
the machine. This doughnut-shaped part of the machine has a round magnet that emits very
strong magnetic fields. These magnetic fields when align with the hydrogen protons in the body,
they signal the receiver the information generated and then an image is created with the help of
the received information. These images can spot even the tiniest changes in the body. Thus an
MRI is very helpful in determining the underlying cause of your headache.
Mostly, No specific cause of a headache is found, however imaging rules out any serious
condition which can be otherwise treated. It can detect tumours, infections, hemorrhage, TB and
other problems associated with the brain. Early imaging helps in early treatment of these
serious conditions and helps immensely by reducing the complications associated with these
conditions.

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