While a general practitioner or family physician may be able to help with some headaches, serious headaches may require specialized help from a neurologist. If a headache is not severe and only occurs occasionally, prescription medicine or even non-prescription medicine may work well. However, severe and chronic headaches often mean that there is an issue with the nervous system that needs to be identified and treated. A neurologist specializes in nervous system disorders, so this type of doctor is the ideal treatment provider for severe or chronic headaches.
People who suddenly begin having chronic headaches or new types of headaches may be dealing with a serious issue. For example, if a person has always had occasional stress headaches but suddenly starts having migraines frequently it should be taken very seriously. Anytime that headaches cause nausea, vomiting, dizziness, disorientation, blurred vision, or fainting it can be considered a serious headache. When a headache includes vision loss, problems with speech, or loss of bodily control, even if only for a few minutes, it is a serious headache. Other severe headache symptoms to watch for include sudden stiffness, pain that won't go away, and fever. Any of these warning signs mean a trip to the neurologist should be scheduled promptly.
The neurologist will need to have as many headache details as possible. This includes the time, day, and circumstances of the headache. Patients should always take note of where they are, what they are doing, and whether there are any sudden symptoms when a headache starts. If there are any noises, smells, or lights that cause trouble during the headache, make note of those as well. Vision changes should be noted, as well. In shorts, details are key to proper diagnosis and highly effective treatment.
At Progressive Neurology & Sleep Medicine Associates, we accept the majority of private health insurance plans, as well as IEHP and most HMO's in our service area. Please call our office if you do not see your plan listed.
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