What is the primary goal of facial pain and headache evaluation?

Updated: Jan 29, 2020
  • Author: Tejas Raval, MD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Headache and facial pain are common complaints in the emergency and outpatient setting. The lifetime prevalence of headache is greater than 90%. [1] Most patients who present with headache have 1 of the following 3 main headache syndromes: migraine, cluster headache, or tension headache. [2, 3]

However, headache and facial pain can have numerous other etiologies that are important for the clinician to consider. The reader is referred to the International Headache Society (IHS) classification for an exhaustive compilation of all headache and facial pain etiologies.

In the evaluation of headache and facial pain, the primary goal for the otolaryngologist is to make a distinction between sinogenic and nonsinogenic causes of headache and facial pain. [4]

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