According to the World Health Organization, 1 in 20 adults has a headache every day. Carisa Liew, D.O. a neurologist with Houston Methodist Neuroscience & Spine Center at Sugar Land, wants headache sufferers to know that an effective therapy plan can help.


“It’s a misconception that it’s OK to just live with headaches," Liew said. "They’re a major cause of missed time at work and school, and can affect many areas of your life.”




People can be affected by different types of headaches, such as migraines, tension headaches and cluster headaches.


Migraines typically:

  • Affect one side of the head
  • Create throbbing and pounding pain
  • Are associated with light or sound sensitivity 
  • Cause nausea or vomiting
  • Create visual auras, such as kaleidoscope vision


Tension headaches typically:

  • Wrap around the head
  • Cause pressure or tightness (nonthrobbing pain)
  • Tend to come on later in the day
  • Are not associated with nausea or vomiting
  • May be associated with stress or fatigue


Cluster headaches typically: 

  • Affect one side of the head
  • Cause sharp pain over the temple or behind the eyes
  • Come in a cluster, often several times a day, for a period of time and then disappear
  • May cause nasal congestion, watery eyes and flushing of the forehead and face on the same side as the headache
  • Cause sudden onset of pain that may awaken you from sleep


Liew sees another type of headache known as a medication overuse headache, also known as a rebound headache.


“Many patients develop worsening headaches over time partially due to too frequent use of pain medications,” she explained. “If you take pain medication for headaches often, and the headache returns, you might be experiencing a medication overuse headache.”


Your doctor can help you manage the dosages and frequency of any prescription and over-the-counter medications you take to avoid medication overuse. 




When it comes to headaches, finding the right treatment for your unique symptoms is vital. A neurologist is trained to identify your headache and offer treatments for your specific needs.


Treatment options are diverse and include over-the-counter and prescription medications, dietary supplements, noninvasive medical devices, cranial nerve blocks, BOTOX® injections, infusions, psychological techniques and physical therapies.


Prior to your appointment, it’s a good idea to keep a headache diary for several weeks, jotting down details about each headache’s onset. It may offer important clues to what may be triggering your headaches — a major step in preventing the pain.




If you’re suffering from headaches, we can help. Call 281.274.7595 to schedule an appointment with Carisa Liew, MD or another neurologist with Houston Methodist Sugar Land Neurology Associates. Visit our Facebook page at for the latest news, events and information.