What Happens During a Migraine Diagnosis?
Migraine headaches can ruin your entire day. Migraine attacks can cause havoc in your life, making it difficult to work, spend time with family, or go about your daily activities. Getting a migraine diagnosis, on the other hand, can provide you with the tools you need to decrease or even eliminate your migraine attacks and symptoms. When you suffer migraine attacks, though, it’s critical to have a proper diagnosis and treatment. Because not every doctor is familiar with migraine, seeing a specialist like a neurologist can help you get specialized and targeted care for migraine and all of its related symptoms.
The steps of migraine diagnosis will depend on your overall health, family history, and a few other factors. You can start by seeing a primary care doctor. If it gets worse and more frequent, you might need to see a neurologist (a doctor who treats diseases and disorders of the nervous system) for further testing and treatment. During your migraine diagnosis, a doctor will:
- gather your medical history
- perform an exam
- order scans to rule out other conditions
Common diagnosis for migraines
For many people, this is enough to diagnose migraines. Generally, you’ll be diagnosed with a migraine if you’ve had at least five headaches that have lasted between 4 and 72 hours and your headaches are located primarily on one side of the head, cause pain that’s pulsing or throbbing, cause pain that’s moderate to severe are made worse by normal physical activity. If your pain came on suddenly or if you’re having other symptoms that aren’t typically caused by migraines, your doctor might order more testing. Testing might include Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and Computed tomography (CT scan). Your doctor might also order blood work to help pinpoint other conditions that might be behind your pain and symptoms.
Why do you need a neurologist?
Migraine is a type of headache that affects the brain. A neurologist can help you get an accurate migraine diagnosis and rule out any other neurological conditions that might be causing similar symptoms. Neurologists are up to date on the latest migraine treatments and can assist you in developing an appropriate treatment plan and fine-tuning any medications that may be beneficial to you. They’re generally the first to learn about new findings in their field and can provide you the most up-to-date information and treatment alternatives.
The symptoms of migraine can be very painful. Many people need to rest in a dark, quiet place during their migraine episodes to help manage their symptoms. When the migraine worsens, people often experience two warning periods, prodrome and aura. It’s best to head to a neurologist if you are already in these periods.