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Why See A Neurologist For Migraines

When To See A Neurologist For Headaches

When to see a neurologist for headaches or migraines | Ohio State Medical Center

While most headaches are treatable with available painkillers, some persist beyond the treatment. If any of your condition refuses to go away for a considerable period of medication, ask your doctor. It is time to see a neurologist for the headache. Several triggers require a serious check-up by a neurologist. Discuss them with your medical doctor to see the way forward.

Why Seeing A Pediatric Neurologist Might Be Recommended

Most of the time your childs family doctor will be able to treat the problems that arise during the course of your childs normal development. However, if your child experiences a seizure, chronic migraines, developmental disorders or weakness in the muscles you might consider seeing a pediatric neurologist.

You Have Neuropathic Pain

Neuropathic pain is pain that happens when nerves are damaged from injury or disease. can cause this type of nerve damage. Pain may be sharp, shooting or burning. You may also have neuropathic from damage to your brain or spinal cord. This type of pain can occur after a stroke. Neuropathic pain does not get better with common pain medicine. A neurologist can help you find the best treatment.

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Three Signs You May Need To See A Neurologist For Your Headaches

Headaches are common but some are much more serious than others. How do you know when yours warrants a trip to a neurologist?

The following signs indicate your headaches may be caused by a neurological issue, says Dr. Greg McLauchlin, assistant professor in the Department of Neurology at Baylor College of Medicine.

You take headache medication often

If you get frequent headaches, its tempting to take medication for them regularly. However, McLauchlin says this could be a sign of a more serious condition.

It is important to realize that some over-the-counter medicines can actually make headaches worse if they are taken too frequently, said McLauchlin. Also, over-the-counter medicines can do damage to the stomach, kidneys and liver if taken in excess.

He suggests that anyone who takes over-the-counter medicine to alleviate headaches five or more days out of the month should go see a doctor.

Headaches disrupt daily activities

A visit with your primary care physician is a good place to start for headaches that are not disabling but more of a nuisance. However, immobilizing headaches may warrant a trip to a neurologist.

Patients should see a neurologist for any headache that is disabling, McLauchlin said. This applies to you if you have to stop what you are doing and lie down during a headache.

Additional symptoms

Additional Resources

Comparison With Existing Literature

When to See a Headache Neurologist

A definitive review by Roland and Coulter called for more studies of referral to specialists. From the current study’s data, and assuming an average practice list size of approximately 1700, it is estimated that 26 out of 1000 patients each year report to their GP during their consultation that they experienced headaches, and of these 2.2% are referred to neurologists. This finding in a prospective study supports findings from a retrospective analysis of computer records on the General Practice Research Database with 13 million patients years of observation. It was found that 2% of patients consulting a GP for headache were referred to neurologists, and 1% to other specialists.

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Treatment Of Neurological Disorder

Smt. Parvati Devi Hospital is recognized as one of the topmost Hospital offering treatments for neurological disorders.

Having all the amenities of level 1 Neurology trauma centre, SPDH includes facilities like a CT scan, ultrasound with high-resolution, X-ray lab and laboratory for investigation.

We make sure that treatment at our intensive care unit is comprehensive to save the life of patients suffering from any kind of brain illness.

Our best neurologist doctors in Amritsar have an understanding of above-mentioned symptoms to do proper counselling with patients for their awareness.

This hospital is a symbol of kindness curing many neurological patients by surgery and other practices, over the years.

Patients suffering from Alzheimers disease, brain injury, birth defects of the brain and spinal cord, dementia, chronic fatigue syndrome and so on are successfully cured by our veteran and expert neurological doctors.

If you are troubled with any of these illnesses, contact us, we are the number one neurological hospital that takes responsibility to cure patients suffering from any type of neurological disorder.

What Questions Will The Neurologist Ask About A Patients History And Symptoms

The information I try to get from my patients to help me make a diagnosis is:

  • the description of the headache pain
  • where the pain is located
  • if there are any associated symptoms e.g. nausea, sensitivity to light, noise and smells
  • if there are any alleviating or exacerbating factors
  • what the patient takes for the pain
  • if the patient knows any triggers for the headache e.g. stress, relief from stress, dehydration, hunger, alcohol, etc.

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Welcome To The Migraine Center Of Excellence Located In Foothills Neurology Phoenix Az

We are dedicated to supporting, educating and empowering our patients who live with migraines and their families.

  • Thirty-six million Americans, about 12% of the population, suffer from migraine headaches.
  • One in four households in America has a member with migraine.
  • Migraine is 3 times more common in women than men. Migraine affects 30% of women over a lifetime.
  • Migraine is most common between the 3rd and 6th decades of life in both men and women. However, migraine affects people of all ages, including children and the elderly.
  • Although most people with migraine have a few attacks or less per month, 3% of the population have chronic migraine. Chronic migraine indicates the presence of at least 15 days of headache each month for at least 6 months.

External Sources And Resources

When should I see a neurologist about a headache?

American Migraine Foundation

Migraine is an inherited neurological disorder that is characterized by over excitability of specific areas of the brain. Although we do not clearly understand how a migraine brain is different or what happens in the brain to start a migraine, we know that individuals with migraine are more susceptible to the influence of transient factors, termed triggers that raise the risk for having a migraine attack. These triggers include hormonal fluctuations environmental stimuli like weather or bright lights, certain smells, alcohol, certain foods, poor sleep, and high stress. However, not everyone has a clear trigger for their migraine attacks.

Home of the Headache Diaries

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Chronic Headaches Or Migraines

We all experience headaches of varying durations and severity due to everything from staring at a computer screen too long to loud noise to lack of sleep to a sinus infection. While painful, most headaches are temporary. Usually, conservative treatments like over-the-counter pain medications will provide relief.

See a neurologist in these instances:

  • Your headaches become severe or disabling.
  • Youre taking medication for headaches daily.
  • You routinely wake up with a headache.
  • Your headaches are accompanied by other neurological symptoms, such as vision changes, dizziness, nausea or even seizures .
  • Your headaches are severe and are accompanied by a sensitivity to light, strong smells or loud sounds, which could indicate migraines.

Your neurologist can help determine whats causing your headaches and any other symptoms and help you get relief.

In addition to prescribing medications or treatments like Botox, Zacharias emphasizes lifestyle modifications. I always share tips with my patients, she says. For instance, I tell them to stay hydrated, dont skip meals, avoid excessive caffeine and alcohol, engage in physical activity, and try relaxation therapy. All of those things can be helpful with headaches.

And if youre having migraines, your neurologist can help you identify and avoid your triggers including stress and certain foods to prevent them.

If The Frequency Of The Headaches Is High Then Get Neurological Help

Severe headaches are symptoms of more significant problems within the body. When headaches dictate your daily activities, consult a nerve expert. Simple headaches disappear after regular painkillers. But some headaches defy standard prescription to put and put you to bed for a while. When the pain becomes severe and disrupts your daily activities, you should tell your neurologist for immediate attention.

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Try Drinking A Little Coffee Too

Though it may seem counterintuitive, caffeine can actually be a remedy for headaches. Brandes said that drinking a cup of coffee is the first step she takes when combatting a migraine attack, followed by drinking a glass of water and taking medication.

Caffeine causes blood vessels to narrow and restricts blood flow around the brain, which canrelieve pain. However, moderation is key: Consuming caffeine on the regular may have the opposite effect, leading to withdrawal headaches if you suddenly stop drinking your morning espresso or green tea.

Other Neurological Symptoms Like Dizziness Memory Loss Or Unexplained Pain

Neurologist, Headache

There are many other symptoms that might lead your doctor to refer you to a neurologist. These are generally unexplained symptoms that could be caused by several conditions.

For example, unexplained pain could be the result of multiple conditions that cause your nerves to become overactive, while dizziness could be the result of injury or inflammation to your brain.

Memory loss can also lead people to a neurologist. You might be referred if youve been having increased forgetfulness, trouble concentrating, and brain fog.

A neurologist can determine whether the cause is dementia or another neurological condition that impacts memory. They can also prescribe medications to help slow down the dementia or treat the other underlying condition.

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You May Need To See Other Doctors And Healthcare Professionals As Well

A neurologist can work with your primary care doctor, or they might take over your care for a specific condition. Depending on your condition, you might be referred to multiple healthcare professionals.

These professionals can work together as part of a medical team. They can help you manage your condition, recover from injuries, and more. With your permission, your team will pass information about your progress along to other team members.

The members of your healthcare team will depend on your condition, but may include:

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.

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How Would A Neurologist Diagnose A Headache

In 99% of patients who see a neurologist with headaches, the diagnosis to find out the underlying cause is made based on the patients headache history alone. The basic categories of a headache are acute or chronic. Acute onset headaches, especially if sudden and severe need to be taken seriously as the most important cause to identify and treat is subarachnoid haemorrhage. Other less frequent causes include thrombosis in the veins of the brain or low pressure headache due to leakage of spinal fluid . This can only be done by admission to a hospital and having a CT scan. If a CT scan is normal with no evidence of bleeding, then a lumbar puncture examination needs to be performed. This is where a needle is inserted between two lumber bones to remove a sample of the fluid that surrounds your brain and spine. This will then be examined under the microscope for evidence of bleeding.

The most common causes of chronic or recurrent headaches are migraine, known as analgesicrelated headache due to overuse of painkillers, and muscle tension headache. This is a serious condition that is treatable with steroids. In patients over the age of 55 years old presenting with a new onset headache, especially around the temples, might need to be tested for temporal arteritis. If this condition isnt diagnosed and treated it can result in blindness. Blood tests and also a temporal artery biopsy will need to be performed to confirm the diagnosis.

Implications For Future Research

Considering a Neurologist for Migraine in Norwalk, CT?

Differences in patients’ perceptions and understanding may be important in determining management with referral, and suggest new approaches to therapy. A previous study examined the beliefs of patients with fatigue and found that those managed in primary care were more likely to attribute their fatigue to a physical cause rather than a psychological one. A study on fatigue demonstrated that referred patients were even more likely to believe their problem was physical. Subsequently, the effectiveness of cognitive behaviour therapy , counselling, and graded exercise therapy for fatigue in primary care was examined. There may be a parallel opportunity here, which justifies a trial of a CBT for headache in primary care.

It was estimated in this study that referred patients cost their practice an excess of just £12 before referral . Other data reveal that a referral itself requires an extra health service input of around £214 . The impact on cost raises questions about the use of scarce resources and equity between patients. Until recently the commissioning of services in UK primary and secondary care was separated, and this did not encourage analysis of the alternative use and costs of services provided. In the light of this information, those who purchase health care may consider commissioning more training for all GPs who manage 9798% of patients with headache this could be provided by GPs with a special interest in headache.

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If Your Headaches Disrupt Your Daily Routines

Headaches that occur more than once a week and affect your ability to go about your day may be a sign of something serious going on. When a headache disrupts your daily routine because of how much pain and discomfort you are experiencing, its time to visit a neurologist. You may not be able to pinpoint the start of your headaches, like a specific car accident injury where you may have hurt your head. However, if a headache is making it difficult for you to go about your day without reaching for pain medicine or changing your plans then a neurologist can help.

Why Do I Have Migraines

This is the question about migraines we get asked most often. Genetics is the science that looks at traits you inherit from your parents at birth, like eye color. Some doctors think migraines are caused by genetic factors.

There could be other triggers that play a role in migraines. You can work with a neurologist to find out what triggers your migraines. Some of these triggers could be:

  • Food

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What Kind Of Specialist Can Help You

Your family doctor will be responsible for your initial treatment and will handle minor migraines and headaches that fall into their scope of expertise. If they believe that their scope has been stretched, they might reach out to a neurologist. This referral allows further treatment that is more specialized and attuned to the needs of your brain and nervous system.

In this case, a neurologist might be the safest and most expedited method of treating your pain and difficulty. For example, spine specialists at AICA Orthopedics work with these types of neurological disorders and other spine issues in a professional and thorough manner.

In less common cases, a neurosurgeon might be called upon to treat a neurological issue with the use of surgical interventions. No matter who it is you ultimately need to see to ease your headache pain and soothe your mind, your specialist will talk through your issues and provide you with holistic and lasting relief.

How Will My Doctor Arrive At A Proper Diagnosis

Know the Signs! 5 Reasons to See a Neurologist

The diagnosis of something that cant necessarily be seen right away can oftentimes be confusing. In addition to this idea, neurological diagnoses can suggest further ramifications for other parts of the body, not to mention the many side effects that can be expected.

For these reasons, it is vitally important that the patient is looked at with a physical examination and diagnostic imaging, which hopefully leads to a diagnosis. The individuals medical and family history can actually be incredibly useful when it comes to diagnosing neurological issues.

In rare cases, other additional diagnostic checks will be provided in order to get the clearest understanding of what an individual is going through. MRI scans and CT scans are useful in seeing the interior landscape with the use of different types of technology to accomplish this task.

Sometimes, neurological tests are conducted to help the doctors involved to see the state of the brain in the midst of an issue. When this has happened, many find that they begin to form a more complete understanding of their particular affliction.

An EEG can help diagnose brain abnormalities and issues. In the most severe cases of neurological headaches, spinal fluid tests may be checked to be certain that the pain of the headaches isnt caused by a more serious issue, like a brain bleed which affects the spine or an infection of the brain/spine.

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Research And Clinical Trials

Our providers are also researchers seeking to improve diagnosis and treatment options. Areas of study include:

  • Studying the link between blurry vision and anatomy.
  • Measuring the cognitive abilities of patients who frequently use sleep medication.
  • Looking at how frequent headache pain affects sleep quality.

Clinical trials offer patients the chance to test promising new treatments. Your headache specialist will talk with about any trial that might be right for you.


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