When to call a neurologist
If you have severe headaches or accompanying symptoms that are disrupting your life, it might be a good idea to see a neurologist. Consider making an appointment with a neurologist if:
- Your headache is continuous for more than a day or two
- Your headaches tend to come on suddenly
- Your head pain is worsened by straining
- Your headaches start early in the morning
- You’re experiencing changes in vision
- You’ve had a seizure along with your headaches
Tests your doctor may perform for headaches
When you see a neurologist for a headache, he or she will likely take a medical history, perform a physical exam, and do some neurological tests.
The tests will vary depending upon your symptoms and may include:
- CT scan – Your doctor may order a CT scan of your head to help diagnose any structural problems, bleeding, spinal problems,
or tumors that could be causing your headaches.
- MRI – An MRI may be done if you have had a recent head injury that could be causing your headaches or if your doctor suspects a
structural problem or tumor.
- EEG – EEG is short for electroencephalogram, which is a test that measures brain waves. It uses electrodes
placed on the scalp to measure brain activity. It is helpful in diagnosing epilepsy and other brain disorders, such as stroke, inflammation, brain damage from a head injury, sleep disorders, and brain dysfunction.
- Eye exams – A neurologist may perform eye exams to check for signs of a concussion or neurological damage that could be causing your headaches.
- Spinal tap – A spinal tap is also known as a lumbar puncture or CSF test. During this test, doctors remove a small sample of spinal fluid to assess the color, consistency, and quality of the spinal fluid. This test can help doctors find out
where there is an infection or tumor of it the patient has a disorder, such as Guillain-Barré syndrome.
- X-ray of your sinuses – If your doctor suspects you have a sinus infection or chronic sinus problems may be causing your headaches, he or she may order x-rays of your sinuses.
- Lab tests – Depending on your headaches and other related symptoms, your doctor may order some lab tests, like blood tests or a urinalysis. Usually these tests are done to confirm or rule out health conditions, such as thyroid disease or diabetes,
that could be contributing to your headaches.
While your doctor may be able to determine the cause of your headaches, a neurologist has the tools and tests available to diagnose and treat whatever the root cause is.
Headache treatment at Beaumont
If you are suffering from frequent or extreme headaches or your headaches are accompanied by other symptoms, doctors at Beaumont can help. Beaumont neurologists use the latest tools to diagnose and treat neurological conditions, for patients of all ages. From acute brain injuries to chronic conditions, we are the most preferred destination for neurology services in Southeast Michigan.
Specialized centers for neurological care
Beaumont Health’s specialized neurology centers connect you with the specialists you need, in one place, at one time –
whether you need a neurological exam or more specialized services.
Call 800-633-7377 today to make an appointment to see a Beaumont neurologist.