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Most people have experienced at least some headache episodes during their lifetime. Excessive stress, insomnia, alcohol consumption and menstruation, are typical causes of headache. Usually, most headaches are healed with the use of common painkillers and do not lead people to seeking medical help.
But in what cases should people consult a Neurologist?
Pain associated with another symptom should be evaluated by a doctor. For example, if visual disturbances (blurring, dark spots in the visual field, protoplasm and double vision of objects) coexist, a more extensive examination may be needed.
There are cases where the headache is accompanied by numbness in the limbs or muscle weakness, even with paralysis of one side of the body. In any case, the Neurologist will assess whether it is something innocent or something that needs further treatment.
A “red flag” for someone who has chronic headaches with specific symptoms is the change in the nature of the pain. In other words, this change might be the appearance of an unprecedented and persistent pain, perhaps localized at one specific area, which cannot be healed with the painkillers. Usually, in these cases the CT or MRI reveal the presence or not of a more serious problem.
When it comes to treating headaches, there are many treatments available for the acute phase of the pain as well as prophylactics with systematic use, which aim to reduce the intensity and frequency of the pain.
It should be noted that the frequent and reckless use of painkillers can be a cause of headaches, so it should never be abused.
The accurate diagnosis and the appropriate individualized treatment can offer a good quality of life to patients with headaches.
Verentzioti Anastasia Neurologist
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