We have all experienced the occasional headache, and some of us get migraines. When our headaches are infrequent, and over-the-counter medications relieve the discomfort, there isn’t much to be concerned about. When they become more frequent or if we experience a migraine, we might need more help than our general practitioner can provide. Migraines and headaches: when to see a neurologist.
What Is A Neurologist?
A neurologist is a doctor who specializes in treating disorders of the nervous system including the brain. They specialize in treating neurological conditions, problems with senses, neuromuscular disorders, infection of the nervous system, spinal cord disorders, and headaches.
They are able to accurately diagnose migraine and rule out any other condition. Most importantly, they will develop an appropriate treatment plan.
Headaches And When To Be Concerned
As mentioned, the occasional headache is not of real importance. If they suddenly become more frequent, more intense, medications stop working, or they last longer than an hour or two, it is time to take notice and see a neurologist like Puget Sound Neurology. On average, if you are having more than four headaches a month, it is time to see a specialist.
Other situations to see a neurologist include the following:
- Over the age of 50 and having chronic headaches puts you at a higher risk for “secondary” headaches. A secondary headache is one caused by another underlying disorder, like a stroke.
- If your headache is accompanied by weakness on one side of the body, it could be a brain tumor.
- When you begin to have headaches after an injury, there may be another disorder causing it.
How A Migraine Is Different
It is estimated that one billion people worldwide suffer with migraines and thirty-nine million in the U.S.
Migraine is a chronic neurological disorder. You experience repeated symptoms like headache, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, touch and smell, dizziness, visual disturbances, and tingling in the hands, face, and feet.
There is no cure for migraine, only treatments. A migraine can occur suddenly without warning or as a result of triggers. These triggers can include missing a meal, stress, being exposed to pollution or smoke, a change in hormonal levels associated with menstrual cycles, and more. Keep track of your migraines to determine your own triggers.
Seeing a neurologist like Puget Sound Neurology in Tacoma, WA is the best course of action.