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Ask the Medical Expert Archives 2000-2004

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Possible Migraine
July 2001

Q. I am a 34-year-old woman. I woke up this morning with a headache around my left eye and temple. When I stood up, I briefly had some unusual spots around my upper peripheral vision, after which for a few moments I felt unable to speak correctly. This passed, and now several hours later I feel fine (only a slight headache). My husband says this is a migraine, but I have never experienced migraines before. Is this something I should be worried about? How is this treated?

A. This could well be a migraine, but your doctor should see you for evaluation. You describe a headache acccompanied by other neurologic symptoms (all those functions controlled by the brain) which in this case disturbed your speech and vision. Your doctor will want to assess your blood pressure, circulation, and neurologic system to see if all is working well in these areas.

If the diagnosis is migraine, there are several newer treatments available. Some people have only a rare episode and nothing is needed, while frequent migraine is a challenging problem. Some migraine causes only the neurologic symptoms and no headache. First let you doctor do an exam to establish a diagnosis and then treatment possibilities can be discussed.




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