Many of us often get headaches. They usually go away on their own or after taking a few painkillers. But for some, who have them often and for an extended period of time nothing seems to help. Consult a migraine doctor or specialist for headaches if you have constant or severe migraine. This type of headache is often characterized by extreme pain, throbbing, or pulsating, and affects only one side of the head. It often has light or sound sensitivity and is accompanied by nausea and vomiting. Many migraine sufferers must seek medical attention for relief since these headaches can be debilitating.
Getting the right migraine specialist is about knowing the general migraine headache symptoms, and when you and your doctor should seek out a headache doctor specialist.
WHAT CAUSES MIGRAINE?
The reason for migraine is not clear, however, some specialists believe genetics play some role. It is common for migraines to occur during childhood or teen years and are at peak between 30-40 years. As you get older, migraines will become less severe and less frequent. Women experience migraines three times more frequently than men do. Some common migraine triggers are :
- Changes in hormone levels – Women often have headaches around their period, or while they are pregnant. This is considered to be one of the reasons why women have migraines more frequently than men.
- Foods – Some foods such as aged cheese, alcohol, and food additives like aspartame and MSG (monosodium glutamate) may be the reason for some people.
- Skipping meals.
- Stress – When you are under stress, your brain produces chemicals that may change your blood vessels and result in migraine.
- Caffeine – Migraine can result from getting too much caffeine or not getting enough as you’re used to.
- Loud noises, sounds, or smells.
- Changes in weather – Storm fronts, changes in barometric pressure, and strong winds can all trigger migraine.
- Certain medicines.
- Intense physical activity such as exercise.
- Sleep – Insufficient or excessive sleep can cause headaches.
- Overuse of medication – Taking migraine medication too frequently.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF A MIGRAINE?
Nearly 20% of migraine sufferers also experience auras before their attacks. Neurological symptoms associated with auras include :
- Flashes of light or wavy lines
- Difficulty speaking
- A brief loss of vision
- Ringing in ears
- Tingling or numbness in arms or legs
- Changes in smell, or taste
You might experience any of the following during a migraine attack :
- Pain on one or both sides of the head
- Throbbing or pulsating pain
- Sensitivity to sound, light, smell, or touch
- Nausea and vomiting
WHEN SHOULD I SEE A SPECIALIST FOR MIGRAINES?
Since migraines cannot be cured, many patients may prefer not to seek treatment for them. You should contact a doctor for your migraine if
- You experience at least two headaches per week.
- Your headaches are getting worse with time.
- It is difficult for you to carry out your daily tasks.
- Taking over-the-counter medications no longer works.
Contact your primary care doctor first if you have a severe migraine. Your primary care physician’s role is to check out any other potential causes of severe headaches. But if that doesn’t help your primary care physician may recommend you to a variety of migraine specialists depending on your symptoms and the severity of your headaches or you can visit Speciality Care Clinics.
HOW IS A MIGRAINE DIAGNOSED?
To diagnose your migraine, a migraine doctor will check your signs and symptoms and your family medical history. If a migraine specialist is unclear that you have a migraine, an MRI or CT scan can be used to check other potential reasons for your symptoms.
WHICH DOCTOR TO CONSULT FOR MIGRAINE?
Your primary care doctor will recommend a neurologist for the treatment of migraine. These specialists deal with neurological and brain problems. You should seek their help if your headaches or migraines are severe, or if you are experiencing confusion or seizures.
Based on your symptoms, your doctor might also suggest :
- Eye doctor – An ophthalmologist if your symptoms affect your vision. An eye doctor can check for underlying problems and help you avoid vision problems.
- Psychologist – A psychologist or psychiatrist if your doctor thinks stress is the reason for your migraine.
- Ear, Nose, and Throat Doctors – ENTs, also known as otolaryngologists if your headache is caused by sinus problems.
- An allergist if you have symptoms similar to allergies.
- Gynecologist or obstetrician if your migraine doctor believes your headaches are caused by a sudden change in female hormones.
- A pain-management migraine specialist to alleviate the pain caused by migraines.