Did you know there are different types of headaches?

Whether your headache is throbbing, squeezing, mild, or severe, one feeling is universal: you want it to go away!

When it comes to any pain in the head region, most of us will label it as “just a headache”, take an over-the-counter pain reliever, and move on with our day. But, headaches are much more complicated than this! There are over 100 types of headaches, each with its own unique causes, symptoms, and remedies. Learn about the most common types of headaches so that the next time head pain strikes, you can get a more specific diagnosis, and a better treatment plan.

Headaches fall into two many categories: primary and secondary.

A primary headache occurs because of the headache condition itself, and is not due to an underlying disease. The most common primary headaches include:

  • Migraine: A severe, throbbing headache that usually occurs on one side of the head. Symptoms include muscle tension, nausea, and vomiting, as well as increased sensitivity to light and sound.
  • Cluster Headaches: A series of relatively short, but intensely painful headaches that occur everyday for weeks or months at a time. Sufferers experience one sided pain, usually centered around one eye, and symptoms such as, red or teary eyes, runny or stuffy nose, flushing or sweating of the face or a sense of agitation.
  • Tension Headache: Head pain that is dull and aching, and feels like a tight band around the head.

If you have a stable pattern of headache over many months or years, it is most likely a primary headache condition. Head into our clinic for a proper diagnosis. Our medical team can provide medication and recommend lifestyle changes to help you manage your pain.

A headache is secondary when it is a symptom of another disease or condition. There are a multitude of conditions that can affect the pain-sensitive nerves in the head and lead to secondary headaches. Common conditions and diseases that cause secondary headaches include:

  • Concussion
  • Dehydration
  • Dental problems
  • Ear infection (middle ear)
  • Fever
  • Flu
  • Glaucoma
  • Hangovers
  • High blood pressure
  • Medications to treat other disorders
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
  • Overuse of pain medication
  • Panic attacks and panic disorder
  • Pressure from tight headgear
  • Sinus infection

As well as more serious, life-threatening conditions, such as:

  • Brain aneurysm
  • Brain tumor
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Encephalitis (brain inflammation)
  • Meningitis
  • Stroke

The American Migraine Foundation provides this helpful list of warning signs to help determine if your headache is caused by an underlying condition.

Seek emergency help for:

  • Abrupt, severe headache
  • Headache with a fever, stiff neck, mental confusion, seizures, double vision, weakness, numbness or speaking difficulties
  • Headache after a head injury, especially if the headache gets worse

In other instances, simply walk into our clinic.

Our friendly medical team can evaluate your head pain, assess additional symptoms, and recommend a treatment plan to help you find relief. Headaches are common, but you don’t have to live with the pain. Let us help you better understand and treat your headaches.

A UTI or an STI? The Trouble with Similar Symptoms

uti or an stiIf you’re making frequent –and painful– trips to the bathroom, you might assume you have a urinary tract infection. But, there are other conditions that cause pelvic pain and trouble with urination, most notably, sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia and gonorrhea.

So, how can you tell if you’re suffering due to a UTI or an STI?

It’s difficult to differentiate a UTI from an STI based on symptoms alone, since both cause burning during urination, pelvic pain, and a frequent, sudden urge to urinate. However, if you also have vaginal symptoms such as discharge, bleeding and/or irregular periods, and are sexually active, it may suggest an STI. Make sure to talk to your doctor about your specific symptoms and risk factors for these types of infections.

The only way to determine exactly what kind of infection you are dealing with is to head to the doctor for testing.

Why it’s important to seek treatment

Urinary Tract Infections occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract through the urethra and begin to multiply in the bladder. In most cases, UTIs can be successfully treated with a short course of antibiotics and symptoms will clear up within a few days of treatment. However, when left untreated, urinary tract infections can lead to serious complications including recurrent infections, kidney disease, and even sepsis.

Chlamydia and gonorrhea are bacterial infections that spread through sexual intercouse and develop in the reproductive organs, the urethra, throat, and rectum. Both infections are curable and are treated with antibiotics. Untreated chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause permanent health problems such as pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, and increased risk of HIV.

If you think you have a UTI or an STI, visit our clinic today. With onsite lab testing, our compassionate providers can determine the cause of your symptoms and provide you with an appropriate treatment plan.

Stop Your Seasonal Allergies Before They Start

seasonal allergies

If you suffer from seasonal allergic rhinitis (AKA hay fever), then you know the symptoms are downright miserable. The constant sneezing, runny nose, and itchiness make it difficult to deal with even the most simple daily tasks. This spring, learn the best way to stop your seasonal allergies before they start.

Understanding Hay Fever

Hay fever is caused by pollen carried in the air during different times of the year, and spring, with so many trees and plants in bloom, tends to be a heavy-hitter. Trees, weeds, and grasses release pollen to fertilize other plants. When someone with an allergy inhales this pollen, their immune system perceives an intruder and reacts by releasing histamine into the bloodstream to attack it. This response triggers symptoms such as:

  • Runny nose
  • Watery eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Itchy eyes and nose
  • Dark circles under the eyes

How can I prevent seasonal allergies?

The best way to control hay fever is to avoid the allergens that cause it. And while it may be difficult to completely avoid pollen, you can actively monitor the pollen count in your area and limit outdoor exposure when counts are high. The National Allergy Bureau now offers a helpful online tool that reports on pollen counts for specific trees, grasses, weeds and mold spores throughout the country. Check your local pollen count now »

Staying aware of the pollen counts can also make your allergy medications more effective. Antihistamine medications work best when taken preemptively. If you take your medication before you come into contact with pollen, it can prevent the release of histamine and stop your symptoms in their tracks.

Antihistamines, decongestants, and nasal steroids can all help manage hay fever allergies. Talk to a doctor to learn which medication is right for you.

If you suffer from spring allergies, visit our clinic today. Our medical team can prescribe allergy medications and offer helpful advice on how to keep your hay fever under control.

U.R.I. = Upper Respiratory Infection or Un Real Inconvenience?

illustration of man with upper respiratory infection


If you’ve got a runny nose, an aching throat, and a cough that won’t quit, you can probably blame it on an upper respiratory infection (URI). URIs are one of the most common reasons people visit the doctor, especially in fall and winter. Educate yourself on the illness, and learn ways to battle the miserable symptoms associated with it.

What is an upper respiratory infection?

An upper respiratory infection is a term used to describe a contagious infection of the upper respiratory tract (the nose, throat, airways, sinuses, and ears). Most URIs are viral illnesses, though some are caused by bacteria. The common cold, sinusitis, and bronchitis all types of upper respiratory infections.

What are the symptoms of an upper respiratory infection, and how long will they last?

Symptoms of an upper respiratory infection are caused by inflammation of the mucous membranes in your upper respiratory tract. They include runny nose, sneezing, nasal congestion, cough, and mucus production. Fever, headache, fatigue, and wheezing are also common.

How do you treat an upper respiratory infection?

If a bacteria is causing your upper respiratory infection, a doctor can prescribe antibiotics to treat it. However, antibiotics are ineffective for viral URIs. In these instances, treatment is focused on alleviating symptoms.

If your symptoms are severe or long lasting, it’s important to seek medical help. Secondary bacterial infections may develop, and require treatment. Head to the doctor ASAP if you experience:

  • A fever greater than 101 F for more than two days 
  • Shortness of breath, pain or tightness in your chest, wheezing
  • A painful cough that worsens, or lasts longer than two weeks
  • A bad sore throat that worsens, or lasts longer than three days
  • Swollen glands in your neck that aren’t going away
  • Pain in your face or teeth that does not improve
  • A long-lasting, or severe headache
  • A rash
  • Persistent abdominal pain
  • Significant drowsiness or confusion

Walk into our clinic any day, any time, no appointment needed for prompt, affordable treatment of an upper respiratory infection. With x-rays, lab testing, and an amazing medical team on staff, we’re here to help you feel better.

Bronchitis vs. Pneumonia: Common Signs of Each and What to Do to Feel Better

bronchitis vs pneumonia lungs iconExperiencing coughing and chest discomfort? Could it be bronchitis? Or is it pneumonia? While the two illnesses share similar symptoms, they require different treatment plans, and a correct diagnosis is key to help you start feeling better. Learn how to tell the difference between the two conditions.

Acute Bronchitis

Acute bronchitis is generally viral in nature and often develops after an upper respiratory illness, such as cold or flu. The condition is an inflammation of the bronchial tubes (the airways of the lungs), which leads to excess mucus production and coughing. Symptoms include:

  • Cough, with or without mucus production
  • Soreness or discomfort in the chest
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Mild fever and chills
  • Headache and body aches

Acute bronchitis will usually go away on its own and antibiotics are not recommended for treatment. To feel better, get lots of rest and drink plenty of fluids. Most symptoms will subside within a week, though your cough may persist for several weeks.

Pneumonia

Pneumonia feels similar to bronchitis, but is a much more serious illness. It is an infection of the alveoli– the air sacs in the lungs that transfer oxygen to the bloodstream. The alveoli become inflamed and may fill with fluid or pus. Because the condition affects your oxygen supply, it can severely compromise the organs and tissues in your body.

Symptoms vary based on your age, overall health, and what’s causing the infection, but generally include:

  • Cough, with or without mucus production
  • Sharp chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Fever, sweating and shaking chills
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea

Adults age 65 and older may also experience:

  • Confusion or changes in mental awareness
  • Lower than normal body temperature

Treatment for pneumonia depends on your age, overall health, and the type and severity of the illness. Options include antibiotics, over-the-counter cough medicines and fever reducers/pain relievers.

If you’re experiencing symptoms that indicate pneumonia, head into our clinic today. Our medical team can help diagnose your illness and determine the best treatment plan to get you back to normal.