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What Kind Of Doctor Treats Migraine Headaches

What To Expect After Your First Visit With A Neurologist

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After your first visit with a neurologist, the next steps will vary. If theyre not able to diagnose migraine from your medical history or exam, they may ask you to keep a symptom log.

They may also send you for a variety of imaging tests to rule out any other diagnoses. If they want you to get any other assessments with other specialists, youll need to schedule those as needed.

If you do have a diagnosis of migraine, you may be prescribed medication based on your symptoms. Youll also get instructions for taking any medication they prescribe.

If you find that a medication doesnt work for you, the neurologist will work with you to find medication thats more effective. Theyll also talk with you about lifestyle changes that may help reduce symptoms and offer advice on how to identify any potential migraine triggers.

Caffeine And Vestibular Migraine

Interestingly, this same study also tested the effect of caffeine intake on Vestibular Migraine and unexplained dizziness. It found a 14% reduction in vestibular symptoms for those who completely quit caffeine, but 46% of patients found a reduction in dizziness with nortriptyline therapy.

This shows that eliminating caffeine can be a helpful addition, but medication provides the greatest reduction in symptoms of headache and dizziness.

Falling in between caffeine cessation and nortriptyline in terms of efficacy was treatment with topiramate , which resulted in a 25% reduction of dizziness.

Symptoms And Features Of Vestibular Migraine

Vestibular Migraine can manifest through alarming symptoms like lightheadedness, ataxia, and sensations of moving while sitting still. Because symptoms are not the same for every person, it is incredibly easy to misdiagnose VM.

There are few clinical studies available on VM. Specialists in this field find themselves learning more every day about how to distinguish this diagnosis from other vestibular disorders like Meniere’s disease and benign paroxysmal positional vertigo .

Healthcare providers diagnose VM based on universal criteria set forth by the Barany Society and the International Headache Society. General practitioners receive little education in headache types, including Vestibular Migraine, so many people with symptoms of VM end up seeing several different doctors before they are accurately diagnosed.

Some of the common symptoms of Vestibular Migraine are:

  • Dizziness
  • Memory loss and brain fog
  • Ataxia
  • Positional and/or spontaneous vertigo episodes
  • Sensitivity to light and motion
  • Tinnitus
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • .

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If you find that after working through all the lifestyle. A true sinus headache occurs because sinuses are many people blame their headaches on sinus pain and congestion but more often than not, it’s just a regular old headache. Sinus headaches and infections may sometimes be successfully treated at home . Fortunately people coming back and not only replace lost or diseased parts of the body. 3. During your physical examination, your doctor may check to see if you have tenderness of your sinuses by tapping on your cheekbones and. What kind of doctor treats migraine headaches? If you suffer with headaches it is always important to see your doctor and obtain a correct diagnosis. Sinus headaches and migraines can present in painfully similar ways. What kind of headaches do you get? If you have chronic headaches, don’t hesitate to see a tmj dentist. Sinus headaches usually are caused by sinus infections and/or inflammation, allergies, colds, or upper respiratory infections. Other kinds of recurring headaches, like migraines or tension headaches, are often mistaken for sinus headaches. What kind of fish is preferable?

What Causes A Migraine

Migraine Headache Treatment

The cause of migraine headaches is complicated and not fully understood. When you have a headache its because specific nerves in your blood vessels send pain signals to your brain. This releases inflammatory substances into the nerves and blood vessels of your head. Its unclear why your nerves do that.

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What Symptoms Must You Have To Be Diagnosed With A Migraine

Migraine with aura . This is a headache, plus:

  • Visual symptoms or vision loss.
  • Sensory symptoms .

Migraine without aura . A common migraine is a headache and:

  • The attacks included pain on one side of your head.
  • Youve had at least five attacks, each lasting between four and 72 hours.

Plus, youve experienced at least one of the following:

  • Nausea and/or vomiting.
  • Lights bother you and/or you avoid light.
  • Sounds bother you and/or you avoid sounds.

What To Expect During Your First Visit With A Neurologist

When you see a neurologist, theyll likely do a physical exam as well as a neurological exam. This is to test muscle strength and coordination, rule out any other diagnoses, and get a sense of your overall neurological health.

Theyll take a detailed medical history and ask you questions about your migraine history, since migraine diagnosis is strongly linked to medical history and reporting of symptoms.

They may send you for additional tests if they want to rule out any other medical conditions. But to diagnose migraine, neurologists often go by patient report.

Neurologists are specialists, so even with many insurances, your copay might be higher than when seeing a regular practitioner.

The cost can depend on many things, including:

  • whether you have insurance
  • whether your neurologist takes your insurance
  • where you live
  • what is done at the visit

The cost of the visit can vary widely, so be sure to get an estimate from the hospital or practice. When migraine itself can be expensive, this can be yet another cost and stressor.

If youre underinsured or uninsured, some neurologists may offer reduced-fee care. Call the office and ask to speak with the office manager to see whether they have a payment plan or a financial hardship program.

If you get migraine care at a hospital, many hospitals have programs that help provide care for those who have trouble affording it. Call their financial office to see what options may be available.

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How Are Migraines Treated In The Er

Many medicines are used to treat severe migraine headache pain in the ER, including those listed on the next page. The ER doctor may also give you other medicines for nausea and may treat you for dehydration .

Medicines for Pain Relief

Researchers found that the medicines listed below work to lessen or stop migraine pain. Nearly all of these medicines are given as a shot or through an intravenous tube in your arm. Some NSAIDs can also be taken by mouth.

  • Metoclopramide
  • Prochlorperazine
Neuroleptics and antiemetics are medicines that change the way certain chemicals act in your brain. Some of these medicines may also treat nausea and vomiting.
SumatriptanSumatriptan is a headache medicine that narrows the blood vessels in your brain.Note: People with heart problems, such as narrowing or hardening of blood vessels in the heart, should not take this medicine.
NSAIDsNSAIDs are medicines that relieve pain.

  • Nalbuphine
  • Tramadol
Opioids are medicines that relieve pain. But, these medicines are rarely used for migraines because of possible side effects and the fact that other medicines work well to relieve migraine pain.Note: Taking opioids repeatedly to relieve pain can lead to overuse. Opioids can be addictive.
DihydroergotamineDihydroergotamine is a headache medicine that narrows the blood vessels in your brain.

Medicines To Stop the Migraine From Coming Back

The doctor may also give you a medicine to help stop the migraine from coming back within the next day or two.

Quality Of Patient Care

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Brigham and Womens Hospital is committed to providing all of our patients with the safest, highest-quality, most-satisfying care possible and follow established protocols that have been shown to improve patient outcomes. Our inpatient satisfaction survey, sent to patients to assess their total care experience, helps us to monitor what we are doing well and areas for improvement. We pride ourselves in the quality of patient care we provide and how we are measured compared with other hospitals.

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What Will Happen On My First Appointment

Your first visit to a clinic is likely to be much longer than the time you would usually spend with your GP. The doctor at the clinic will need to take a very detailed history about your condition including your medication , any complementary or alternative remedies you are taking, when your migraines started and how often they occur. The doctor will ask about the ways in which you have taken your drugs whether they have been in tablet form or through inhalers, injections or suppositories.

You will probably have a physical examination. This may provide important clues for the doctor. An awkward posture or tenderness in the muscles at the back of the neck, for example, are important to note as they may be a contributory factor to your migraine. During your first visit, do ask questions about your condition this may save you unnecessary worries after your visit.

What treatment will I be offered?

The complex nature of migraine means that the treatments available are varied and differ from person to person. There is currently no cure for migraine.

Once the diagnosis of migraine has been confirmed, the clinic staff will be able to suggest ways in which you can manage the attacks. This may involve trying new medication, advice on lifestyle, suggestions on how to cope with your symptoms, and the self-management of your particular experience with migraine to help minimise its impact upon your everyday life.

Is It Time To See A Neurologist For Your Headaches

Your family doctor is a great starting point for headache relief. But for chronic headaches that dont respond to treatment, you may need to enlist the help of a neurologist.

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The average headache doesnt require a call to a neurologist or even your family doctor. But if you’re experiencing frequent headaches and using medication for them on the regular, thats a different story.

If you have a history of headaches that come once or twice a month and go away when you take an over-the-counter medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, you may not need to seek further treatment, says Sandhya Kumar, MD, a neurologist and headache specialist at Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

If youre having headaches more than four times a month, especially if they are debilitating and keeping you home from work, you should see a provider for diagnosis and medication, says Dr. Kumar.

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How Can I Find Out About Local Clinics

Just below you will find a list of the specialist migraine and headache health services in the UK that are known to The Migraine Trust.

Our headache clinics list is for information only and focuses on helping doctors to refer patients. It is the policy of The Migraine Trust to include only NHS clinics and registered charity clinics in this list of migraine and headache health services. The Migraine Trust does not recommend any particular products or treatments for migraine, nor refer enquirers to specific health professionals, organisations or products.

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To find out more, contact us today. We look forward to helping you find lasting headache relief!

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When To See A Doctor

If you have any type of headaches consistently, its important to speak with your primary care physician so they can help create a treatment plan or refer you to a specialist.

“If your headaches are increasing in frequency or severity, or are interfering with your usual activities, see a doctor,” says Dr. Andiman.

Seek immediate medical attention if youre experiencing the worst headache youve ever had, lose vision or consciousness, have uncontrollable vomiting, or if your headache lasts more than 72 hours with less than 4 hours pain-free.

Where Does The Information Come From

Researchers reviewed studies on medicines to treat migraines in the ER. These studies were published through January 2012. The researchers were funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality , a Federal Government research agency.

The researchers wrote a report on what they found, and this summary is based on that report. The report was reviewed by doctors, researchers, other experts, and the public. You can read the report at

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Vertigo Has Many Causes So What Kind Of Doctor Should You First See

A common cause of vertigo involves the inner ear canal. This might be the cause of your vertigo which to some sufferers, is described as the room spinning, whirling or moving. It may also be described as sort of like a motion sickness.

Vertigo, or more precisely, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo , is a condition in which little particles contained within the inner ears balance organ lose their positioning accuracy, and you feel dizzy, says Marc I. Leavey, MD, a primary care physician with 40-plus years of experience.

You can feel so dizzy that you become nauseated, vomit and even fall down, he explains.

BPPV can also be very mild, in that the patient feels just slightly dizzy or heady, but is otherwise fully functional.

Once diagnosed, the proper treatment is to put those little particles, called canaliths , back where they belong, says Dr. Leavey.

By moving the head in a precise pattern, called an Epley maneuver, BPPV can often be easily treated in the office.

While many physicians can treat vertigo, the therapy is often practiced most skillfully by trained physical therapists, who have the skill and facility to render effective treatment.

If You Suffer With Headaches It Is Always Important To See Your Doctor And Obtain A Correct Diagnosis

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Sinus headaches, sometimes called allergy headaches, make your face feel achy. Sinus pressure from infections is often to blame. Do you know how to. Sinus headaches are the kind of headaches that come alongside an episode of sinusitis. If your headaches and other sinus problems keep coming back, surgery can sometimes help if nothing else does. Sinus headaches and infections may sometimes be successfully treated at home . There are a few key differences between sinus headaches and. If the doctor sees symptoms of a sinus infection, and rules out viral causes and specific parasite or bacterial infections, the standard treatment is a broad spectrum antibiotic that is if you had diseased sinuses you could be cured of that condition and then see whether your headaches recurred or not. Your doctor can clearly see what the sinuses look like and then decide what kind of treatment will help you get better. Why can people have minor features of the disease after the vaccination? If you have chronic headaches, don’t hesitate to see a tmj dentist. How many beats is the pulse of a healthy person? A look at sinus headache, a condition where the area around the nose becomes painful.

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Types Of Headache Specialists

A headache specialist is a physician who has taken an active interest in treating headaches and who attends meetings and continuing education to understand the scientific processes of headaches. Many headache specialists are certified by the United Council for Neurologic Subspecialties, but not every headache specialist has this certification or needs it.

Doctors who focus on treating headaches include neurologists, pain management doctors, and other specialists. Many headache specialists work in clinics dedicated to treating people with headache disorders.

A doctor who specialists in headaches can treat a number of conditions, including migraines, cluster headaches, sinus headaches, tension headaches, and facial pain. They may also treat primary headacheswhere head pain is the main problemand secondary headaches, where headaches are a symptom of another condition.

Diagnostic Tests For Headache

The tests your doctor orders will depend in part on what they suspect could be causing your headaches and whether its a primary headache such as a migraine or tension headache or a secondary headache, which means that its a symptom of another health concern.

Although primary headaches can be painful and debilitating, they arent life-threatening.

Secondary headaches are much rarer and can be the sign of a serious health issue sometimes even one that requires urgent medical attention.

The process of diagnosis may include the following:

Medical history Your doctor will want to know about any other health conditions you have as well as any medications, supplements, or herbal treatments you take.

Family history Be prepared to provide details about any family members who have headaches or migraine at what age their headaches started, and any other health diagnoses they may have. As Goadsby notes, Very often, family members wont know theyve got migraine, but they will know they are prone to headaches. Since migraine has a strong genetic component, a family history of migraine-like symptoms is an indicator that your headaches are also being caused by migraine.

Physical exam Your doctor will examine you, paying close attention to your head, neck, and shoulders, which can all contribute to headache pain in various ways.

Neurological exam A neurological exam may include tests of your vision, hearing, short-term memory, reflexes, sensation, balance, and coordination.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Migraines

The primary symptom of migraine is a headache. Pain is sometimes described as pounding or throbbing. It can begin as a dull ache that develops into pulsing pain that is mild, moderate or severe. If left untreated, your headache pain will become moderate to severe. Pain can shift from one side of your head to the other, or it can affect the front of your head, the back of your head or feel like its affecting your whole head. Some people feel pain around their eye or temple, and sometimes in their face, sinuses, jaw or neck.

Other symptoms of migraine headaches include:

  • Sensitivity to light, noise and odors.
  • Nausea and vomiting, upset stomach and abdominal pain.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Feeling very warm or cold .
  • Pale skin color .
  • Euphoric mood.


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