We’ve all experienced headaches at some point in our lives, most likely on multiple occasions. Usually, not much thought goes into it other than taking an over-the-counter headache medication and going about your day. But what happens when the headaches occur every day and are debilitating? Our neurologist near West Islip at Nassau Suffolk Neurology can help relieve those chronic headaches that just seem to never go away.
Usually for a headache that’s not so severe, taking a trip to your regular physician’s office is the typical route to take. When is it the time to see a neurologist?
- If your headache is followed by nausea, vomiting, confusion, unconsciousness, blurry vision, or dizziness.
- If the headaches occur more than twice a week
- Over-the-counter medications or prescription drugs are not helping
- It’s disabling you from living your daily life
- The headache is caused by a head injury
These can be some warning signs that it is time you visit our neurologist near West Islip.
How Does a Neurologist Diagnose Your Headache?
Your doctor may suspect a specific cause for your headaches so they may have some tests done and look at your records to rule possibilities out and see what could truly be causing your headache. The diagnosis process includes:
- Medical or family history- If you or a family member have had a certain condition in the past, it may give your neurologist near West Islip a clue as to what could be causing these headaches.
- Physical Exam– Examining the body for any signs of an injury is important, as well. Doctors will typically examine the head, neck, and shoulders.
- Neurological exam– Your reaction time, vision, hearing, mobility tests, and nerves are all examined to narrow down the reason for the headaches
- Blood tests and urinalysis– If there is an infection, a blood test or urinalysis will catch it.
- Spinal fluid test– This can pick up on certain infections, as well as if the brain is bleeding.
- Neuroimaging– In order to find the cause, sometimes neurologists just need to take a look at the brain while you are experiencing one of your headaches.
How Can a Neurologist Treat Headaches?
Depending on your age, overall health, the severity of symptoms, and medical history, the treatment plan for your headaches may vary from another patient’s headache. Your neurologist in West Islip may treat your headache by:
- Biofeedback– By attaching electrodes to the skin and send signals to a monitor that displays either sound or a flash of light that represents your heart rate, blood pressure, skin temperature, or muscle activity. When we’re stressed, our heart rate and our blood pressure increase. Biofeedback allows you to practice techniques to remain relaxed, which allow you to control different body functions. You can use these techniques to turn down brain waves that are turned on when you have a headache.
- Medication– Your neurologist near West Islip may prescribe you medication that will treat your chronic headache. Your doctor may recommend antidepressants, beta-blockers, NSAIDs, or anti-seizure medications.
- Adjusting your diet- eating the proper vitamins and minerals can relieve that headache just doesn’t seem to go away. Foods that contain Vitamin B2, such as eggs, avocados, nuts, dairy products, and sweet potatoes can help reduce symptoms of a migraine.
- Acupuncture- Studies have shown that acupuncture helps decrease the frequency and severity of headaches.
If you are suffering from chronic headaches, you may benefit from seeing a neurologist near West Islip. Request an appointment with us at Nassau Suffolk Neurology, where your health is our highest priority.