Deciding when to go see a headache specialist can be confusing. You do not want to put in the time and effort for a healthcare appointment if you do not really need one. On the other hand, you do not want to avoid seeing a doctor, allowing symptoms to worsen and your condition to progress. 

When is it time to get professional help for your headache condition?

You should go to the doctor if you are experiencing headaches that occur more often; are increasingly intense; are causing you to lose sleep; arrive alongside vomiting or nausea; or are coupled with vertigo, loss of strength, or lack of feeling in the extremities. Finally, you should see a headache specialist if your migraine attacks or headaches are reducing your quality of life.

If you want a more comprehensive sense of when it might be important to visit a doctor for your headache, here are reasons to seek professional help:

You are regularly taking over-the-counter medication for cluster, tension, or migraine headaches. (Important: These medications can lead to liver damage, gastrointestinal bleeding, and other side-effects.)

  • You have difficulty completing your daily tasks because the pain is partially disabling you.
  • The severity of your headaches is gradually rising. (Important: A headache specialist could provide treatments that prevent or help mitigate your headache pain.)
  • You are also suffering from any other neurological conditions, such as seizures.
  • You experience visual disturbances, speech-control issues, alterations in your personality, numbness, or loss of strength. (Important: These additional symptoms suggest that you might have a brain tumor or be experiencing a stroke. Seek medical attention immediately.)
  • You experience an acute headache of a high intensity, alongside other neurological symptoms. (Important: You could have a ruptured aneurism that is bleeding into your brain.)
  • You were in an auto collision recently, or otherwise recently experienced trauma.

How to treat your headache

If you are unable to get to a doctor immediately or want to alleviate pain between appointments, at-home options that can be effective include increasing your sleep; having more meals, with smaller portions; applying ice to your forehead; taking a warm bath or shower; moderating or stopping alcohol use; and getting plenty of water.

Again, though, at-home options may be insufficient to get the results you need – especially if your condition meets any of the criteria described above. At Atlanta Medical Clinic, we we offer a new breakthrough headache treatment with long-lasting results. Don’t suffer anymore.