The occasional headache isn’t anything to fret about; after all, nearly everyone experiences an occasional headache now and then. Dehydration, eye strain from looking at a computer, wearing a too-tight hat, and lack of sleep can all contribute to occasional headaches, but when does a headache warrant a trip to a specialist?
Dr. Benjamin Taimoorazy ( who is a headache and pain management subspecialist) and our team here at Beverly Hills Migraine and Pain Management Institute are experts when it comes to treating headaches and migraines at our Beverly Hills and Northridge, California, locations.
Here, Dr. Taimoorazy discusses three common signs it’s time to consider seeing a specialist about your headaches. There are many reasons why your head might hurt. Tension headaches, migraines, cluster headaches, low/high cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pressure headaches, post-concussion headaches, and cervicogenic headaches are examples of different types of headaches. And your treatment plan depends on which type of headache you have.
Specialists like Dr. Taimoorazy are experts when it comes to pinpointing the type of headache you have and then providing personalized treatment plans to reduce or eliminate your headaches.
1. You take over-the-counter pain relief medication (almost) daily
Headaches can really put a damper on your day, so it’s not surprising that many people turn to over-the-counter pain relief medication 一 acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) 一 when a headache pops up. However, if you find yourself taking medication more days than not, it’s time to consider talking to Dr. Taimoorazy.
Over-the-counter pain relief medication isn’t intended to be taken for prolonged periods of time because they can cause medication overuse or rebound headaches and strain your liver and kidneys. For instance, NSAIDs can cause acute kidney damage if you take it while you’re dehydrated.
Note: chronic headaches are defined as having more than 15 headache days per month.
2. Your headaches interfere with your daily routines
Any time that pain disables you, it’s worth a trip to the doctor. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Does my headache limit my daily routines?
- Do I have to pause what I’m doing and go lie down when I have a headache?
- Do my headaches affect my work performance?
- Have I missed work because of a headache?
- Do I skip out on social events because of headaches?
If you find that your headaches are debilitating, don’t hesitate to reach out.
3. Your headaches are accompanied by other symptoms
Sometimes head pain isn’t the only symptom you experience. Other symptoms that may accompany your headache or migraine include:
- Auditory or visual aura
- Sensitivity to light and/or sounds
Share any of these additional symptoms (including if pain is localized, such as just behind one eye) during your consultation with Dr. Taimoorazy.
Turning to a specialist for headache relief
Treatments can include a combination of lifestyle modifications as well as advanced treatments or injections. Lifestyle modifications that can improve headache frequency or intensity include dietary adjustments (foods such as chocolate or wine can trigger migraines), practicing good sleep hygiene, prioritizing adequate hydration, and practicing stress management techniques.
Other potential treatments available here at Beverly Hills Migraine and Pain Management Institute include:
- Prescription medication
- Botox® injections for migraine relief
- Nerve blocks
- Cervical epidural
- Radiofrequency ablation
- Intra-articular injections
- Trigger point injections
- Regenerative medicine treatments
Don’t let chronic headaches keep you sidelined. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Taimoorazy at Beverly Hills Migraine and Pain Management Institute and explore your headache relief options. You can request an appointment at either location by using our online booking tool or by calling 424-302-0289.