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医師

頭痛の時には何科にかかればいい?失敗しない診療科の選び方

医師の男

風邪薬や頭痛薬を飲んでも頭痛が治まらない時、病院で診てもらおうと考える人が多いと思いますが、頭痛は何科の病院にかかればいいのか、悩むところです。また、頭痛は大した病気でないといって、病院に行かない人も少なくないようです。

しかし、頭痛の中には、脳腫瘍やクモ膜下出血など、脳の重大な病気が潜んでいる場合もあります。辛い頭痛が何度も起こっていたり、今までに経験したことのないような頭痛が起こったりした時には、市販薬の服用だけで我慢しないで、頭痛の原因を病院できちんと調べてもらうことをおすすめします。

頭痛のときにかかるとよい診療科を紹介しますので、病院にかかる際に参考にしてみてください。

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何科に行くといい?

くしゃみをしそうな女性

多くの方が、まず内科にかかるようです。これは間違いではありませんが、痛みがあまりにも強かったり、長引いていたりする場合には、神経内科や脳外科にかかると、より詳しく診断してもらえます。

神経内科とは、内科の中でも脳神経系について専門にしている分野です。脳外科は、脳の病気全般について、外科的な処置をする分野です。

頭痛外来とは?

病院によっては、頭痛外来を設けている所もあります。頭痛外来とは、頭痛に悩まされている方のために設けられた窓口であり、個々の症状に対して、医学的に診察、検査、診断、薬の処方を行います。診断にあたる医師の専門分野は、神経内科、脳神経外科の他、内科、精神科、ペインクリニックなど多岐にわたります。

施設によっては、CTやMRI、SPECTなどの最新の医療機器を備えており、より精密な検査を受けることができます。

頭痛外来では、患者さんの頭痛が、他の病気によるものなのか、命に別状のない慢性頭痛なのかを、問診や診察、検査などを通して判断します。他の病気による頭痛の場合には、原因となっている病気を治すことが治療の目的になります。また、命に別状のない慢性頭痛の場合には、頭痛自体をコントロールすることが治療目的になります。

頭痛外来は頭痛全般に対して診断や治療を行い、病状によっては適切な診療科や病院を紹介してくれる、頭痛専門の診療科です。どの病院に行っても頭痛の症状が良くならない場合には、利用してみましょう。

頭痛で病院にかかるときに伝えること

頭痛は自覚症状が中心となりますので、外見では状況が分かりにくいものです。そのため、患者さんから伝えられる情報が重要な手がかりになります。実際、医師と患者のコミュニケーション不足のために、間違って診断されてしまうということもあります。

正しく診断してもらうために、6つのポイントを正確に伝えるようにしましょう。病院で正確に伝える自信のない方は、日頃の自分の頭痛についてメモしておくと伝えやすくなります。

①頭痛の始まりの時期や様子、経過

いつ、どのようにして頭痛が始まったのか、その後どうなったかをキチンと伝えましょう。これは、危険な頭痛の可能性がないかチェックするために必要な情報になります。
また、初めて経験した頭痛かどうかも伝えましょう。

②頭痛の経過と頻度

以前から時々起こる辛い頭痛なのか、どれくらいの頻度で起こって、どれくらいの時間持続しているかを伝えましょう。頭痛のタイプの診断の際に重要です。

③どんな時に頭痛がひどくなるか

これは、片頭痛かどうかを見分ける重要な情報です。

特に、体を動かすとひどくなるか、または体を動かすと気が紛れて頭痛を感じなくなるかを伝えるといいです。専門的な言い方で「体動による嫌悪因子」があるかどうかを判断する材料となります。

④痛みの具合

どんな痛みなのか、どのように感じているのかという痛みの具合も、診断に必要な情報です。

⑤痛みの場所

どこが痛いかだけでなく、痛みはいつも同じ場所なのか、またはその時によって左右どちらかになるのか、別の種類の頭痛が混ざっているのか、目の奥なのか頭の後方かなどという情報も重要です。細かく観察しておきましょう。

⑥頭痛以外の症状があるか

例えば、吐き気も一緒に現れるなどの周辺情報が、正確な診断に役立ちます。

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まとめ:たかが頭痛と侮らず、病院で正確な診断と適切な治療をしてもらおう

頭痛は風邪や疲労などで起こることもありますが、脳腫瘍などの重大な病気が隠れている場合もあります。頭痛薬や風邪薬で頭痛が治まらない場合には、病院にかかることをおすすめします。

しかし、頭痛を診てもらうには、何科にかかればいいのでしょうか。内科にかかる方が多いのですが、より正確に診断してもらうには、神経内科や脳神経外科、頭痛外来で診てもらうのがいいです。

また、頭痛は自覚症状を元に診断しますので、医師に正確に伝わっていないと誤診される恐れもあり、診断が難しいのです。より正確な診断をしてもらうために、頭痛の時期や経過、様子など伝えるポイントがありますので、自分の症状をよく観察してきちんと伝えるようにすることが大切です。

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