Modern Migraine MD

Signs Your Migraines Need Medical Attention

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Signs Your Migraines Need Medical Attention
Battling recurrent migraines but aren’t sure what signs mean your head pain requires medical attention. We’ve got you covered. Keep reading to learn what you need to know about getting help for migraines.

Struggling with debilitating head pain, sensitivity to light or sound, or other symptoms of migraine? Migraines affect at least 39 million Americans, and researchers believe more people struggle with migraine but don’t seek medical care.  

If you’re experiencing migraines, it’s important to talk to your provider about your condition. Migraines are more than headaches—they’re a complex neurological disorder that can trigger head pain and other symptoms. 

Board-certified neurology providers, Risa Ravitz, MD, and Aviva Engel, PA-C at Modern Migraine MD, specialize in this type of disorder the ways changes in brain chemistry and your body interact with the environment and your genetics to trigger your migraine symptoms.  

Our team provides personalized evaluations and treatment of migraines at our offices across Manhattan, New Jersey, and Florida, and through virtual care in 13 states using our HIPAA-secure telehealth platform. 

Keep reading to learn the signs it’s time to see a neurologist about your migraines, what to expect at your appointment, and when to go to the nearest emergency room. 

Signs it’s time to see a neurologist about your migraines

Migraines can severely impact your quality of life, causing you to miss out on the things you enjoy most and lose time with family, friends, or at work. 

For this reason, if you experience migraines it’s always a good idea to talk to a neurologist, a medical provider who specializes in diagnosing and treating conditions that affect your nerves, spinal cord, and brain.   

Schedule an appointment with your provider regarding your migraines if you have any of the following signs:

  • You get two or more migraines a week
  • You can’t manage the migraine pain with over-the-counter therapies
  • You get headaches that wake you up at night
  • Your migraines are getting worse over time
  • You’ve noticed changes in headache intensity, duration, or frequency
  • You get migraines that last 24-48 hours
  • You’ve had a migraine accompanied by a seizure
  • Your migraine pain is worse during exertion or straining

You should also talk to a neurologist if your migraines are getting in the way of you carrying out daily activities and enjoying a good quality of life. 

What to expect when visiting a neurologist

At Modern Migraine MD, your provider evaluates your medical history, reviews current OTC and prescription medications, and reviews any tests you’ve had related to your symptoms. 

It’s helpful to come to your appointment with information about your migraine and headache history. If you haven’t already, in the week(s) leading up to your appointment, keep track of your migraines and note key information, such as:

  • When you get migraines
  • What you ate or drank the day (24 hours) before the migraine
  • What activities were you doing when the migraine started (or just before it started)
  • Your quality of sleep the night prior to your migraine
  • What made your migraine worse (e.g., sounds, smells, noises)
  • If you had other symptoms in addition to migraine head pain (e.g., vision changes, nausea)
  • Whether anything makes your migraine better or resolves completely
  • When (for women) in your menstrual cycle the migraine occurs

Your Modern Migraine MD provider also conducts a physical exam, and neurological exam, and orders any additional tests and/or studies (e.g., nerve conduction study) necessary to rule in or out conditions that may either contribute to migraines or have headaches as a symptom. 

Dr. Ravitz and the team specialize in personalized migraine treatment that may include one or more therapeutic approaches that might include:

  • Trigger avoidance and lifestyle changes
  • Botox injections
  • Radiofrequency ablation
  • Neuromodulation
  • Peripheral nerve block
  • CGRP monoclonal antibody injections
  • Sphenopalatine ganglion block

With the right treatment and support from your Modern Migraine MD provider, your migraines can become manageable so you can enjoy more pain-free days. 

When to go directly to the emergency room for migraine

Millions of emergency room (ER) visits each year are due to severe migraine pain. While most times migraines aren’t urgent, there are times when this type of pain means you should see a provider immediately.

If you experience a migraine headache accompanied by or characterized by any of the following, seek medical attention right away:

  • Migraine lasting more than 72 hours
  • Migraine with pain much worse than any prior migraine
  • Migraine with confusion or changes in mental status
  • Migraine with difficulty speaking
  • Migraine comes on suddenly and reaches peak pain point within minutes
  • Migraine with numbness, muscle weakness, or inability to stand
  • Migraine for the first time at 50 years or older

You should also head to the ER if you develop severe head pain with a high fever and stiff neck, or after sustaining a head injury. These are signs of an underlying condition that requires urgent care. 

Get help for your migraine headaches by scheduling an in-person or virtual consultation at Modern Migraine MD today.