The typical headache usually won’t need a trip to the doctor or even medication. But if you experience frequent headaches that require medications, this might be a different thing altogether.
Taking over-the-counter meds for your pain 10 or more days in a month could increase your risk of developing rebound headaches, the kind of headache triggered by taking too many painkillers.
When to Visit a Neurologist
In general, going to your family physician is a great starting point to address regular, non-severe headaches. But if your treatments aren’t working or you’ve begun to experience more unusual symptoms, it’s time to see your local neurology specialist in Draper, who specializes in nervous system disorders.
The following are warning signs that indicate you need specialized treatment for your headache:
- You have more than two headaches weekly.
- Your headaches come with confusion, dizziness, vomiting, blurry vision, nausea, loss of consciousness, and or loss of control or weakness of a body part, vision, or speech.
- You are 50 years old or older and are experiencing a new kind of headache or chronic headaches.
- Your headaches are worsening instead of getting better.
- You experience headaches following a head injury.
- Your headache came on suddenly and is accompanied by fever or a stiff neck.
- Your headaches aren’t getting better even with a prescription or OTC pain medications.
- You are finding it increasingly difficult to go about your daily life and do your tasks.
- Your headaches come on suddenly, and you have a history of AIDS/HIV or cancer.
How Headaches are Diagnosed
The most valuable tool in diagnosing a headache is a person’s headache history. A detailed history could help determine what might be causing the headache, triggers, and proper treatments. If possible, try to list down your headache experiences prior to visiting your neurologist.
During the consultation, tell your doctor when your headaches started and if it gets better with certain meds. Also include whether lights or sounds worsen or trigger your headache and whether you experienced any vision changes like flashes of light, black spots, or blurriness, during or before a headache.
You should likewise tell your doctor whether or not you slept well the night prior to the checkup, any drink or food you consumed the day before you experienced a headache, as well as any activity you were doing when you experienced the headache or right before it. In addition, don’t forget to inform your doctor about past headache diagnoses (if applicable) and any treatments you have tried.
If your doctor recommends testing, your doctor will determine which tests you need to undergo based on all the information you have shared. He or she will also pick tests to pinpoint what your doctor suspects might be triggering your headaches.
Other Vital Things to Remember
In the event that you’re experiencing disabling and immensely painful headaches, try to list down notes now and try to schedule an appointment with the neurologist as early as possible. Working with a specialist will take you one step closer to getting the relief you desperately need and avoid unnecessary stress.