How Neurologists in Leesburg Can Help You With Migraines

Woman migraine

Experiencing migraines? It might be time for you to consult with a neurologist in Leesburg!

Migraines are one of the most disabling diseases, affecting more than 38 million people in the United States. It is characterized by severe, painful, throbbing, and recurring headaches, usually on just one side of the head, accompanied by varying symptoms. It can last for hours to days.

Migraine: Not Your Ordinary Headache

This illness may seem simple and ordinary for many, but it is essential for patients to consult with a specialist to avoid misdiagnosis and incorrect treatment. If you are experiencing headaches as described, our neurologist in Leesburg and Dulles will be happy to help you understand and deal with your situation. But before taking it to your doctors, here are some of the essential things you need to learn about migraines.

What are its most common symptoms?

Some of the most common migraine symptoms include the following:

  • Extreme sensitivity to light and/or sound
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • Pounding headache on just one side of your head
  • Neck and shoulder stiffness
  • Constipation
  • Frequent yawning a few days or hours before the attack

Was there ever an instance when you felt a throbbing pain in one side of your head that worsens as you become exposed to bright lights and city noises? It may be a migraine. About 80-85% of migraine patients experience this particular symptom.

Some patients also encounter what doctors call “aura.” This involves visual disturbances, such as seeing different shapes, sizes, and flashes of light, difficulty speaking, uncontrollable movements, and weakness or numbness in one side of the body. However, this symptom is a bit uncommon compared to the ones listed above as experienced by roughly 36% of patients.

Have you been in any of these situations? If you have and you happen to live near Northern Virginia, Dr. Sarbjot Dulai — a Leesburg and Dulles neurology specialist — is ready to review your symptoms with you and diagnose whether or not you are experiencing are migraines.

What causes a migraine?

The causes of this disease are still unclear. However, factors related to genetics and environment may contribute to migraines.

Although the primary cause is still uncertain, what we do know are some of the things that can trigger a migraine episode including:

  • salty and processed food
  • alcohol and highly caffeinated drinks
  • changes in sleep patterns
  • stress
  • intense physical activity
  • change in weather

If you suspect you may be having migraine attacks, it would be best to avoid foods, such as processed meats and “junk” food.  Try to get sufficient sleep every day.

Migraine “triggers”—or causes— vary depending on the patient. It is essential for any person who experiences migraine attacks to determine the triggers so they can try to prevent frequent recurrence. This is why consulting a neurology specialist is imperative. Dr. Dulai of Neurology Associates has offices in Leesburg and Dulles and is available to help you identify your migraine triggers.

How can I prevent migraine?

There is still no long-term treatment for migraines. Most of the medicines prescribed can only stop or manage attacks. These commonly include over-the-counter pain relievers, such as naproxen and ibuprofen. However, long term use of over the counter medicines have their limitations and caution should be used when  taking these meds. It is important to consult with your doctor before taking any medication, especially when self-medicating. If you want to make sure that you take the right kind and correct amount of medication, Dr. Dulai is available to consult with you about proper treatment.

Our neurologist in Leesburg is also equipped to guide you in transforming your lifestyle to treat your migraines. These lifestyle alterations include:

  • Avoiding stress triggers
  • Regular physical exercise
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Drinking more water
  • Avoiding food triggers

If getting rid of your stressors seems to be impossible because they are an unavoidable part of your life, there may be other solutions to consider. Alternative  methods to prevent severe and recurring migraine attacks may include:

  • Transcutaneous Supraorbital Nerve Stimulation (t-SNS) — a device with attached electrodes used as a therapy for migraine prevention
  • Learn to Cope (LTC) Strategy — helps patients become desensitized to their triggers
  • Regular exercise and creating a daily healthy routine is also commonly advised by neurologists.

Since most of these techniques involve a lifestyle change, consultations with experts are also necessary to effectively prevent migraine attacks. Visit our office in Leesburg and Dulles neurology centers so that Dr. Dulai can guide you toward relief for migraines.

Migraine may seem to be very common, but it can also be disabling. That is why it is essential to consult with experts so you would know how to deal with it before it affects almost every area of your life.

Neurologist in Leesburg and Dulles Discusses Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) affects the body’s central nervous system including the brain and the spinal cord. It is one of the most prevalent neurological disorders around the world, typically acquired by young adults. To date, there are over 400,000 cases of MS across the United States, with 200 new cases added weekly, and about 2.5 million cases across the world. Our neurologist in Leesburg tackles the essential things you need to know about the disorder and how he can help you manage your situation. (more…)

How the Best Neurologist in Leesburg, VA can Help You Engage More with Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease

Trying to communicate with a loved one who has Alzheimer’s disease is hard, both for the patient and the caregiver. Communicating progressively worsens as the patient’s condition advances. Care should be given in talking with these types of patients and strategies must be adopted according to the degree in the decline of the patient’s health.

(more…)

Lou Gehrig’s Disease, or ALS: How a Neurologist Can Help

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is one of the severest diseases that a person can contract. It attacks cells in the brain and spine that enable voluntary muscle movement, leading to muscle deterioration, paralysis, and the patient’s inability to speak, move, and eat. Ultimately, most people with ALS die due to respiratory failure – their inability to breathe. There is still no known cure. (more…)

A Neurologist Offers Life-Saving Advice on Detecting Early Warning Signs of Stroke

The National Stroke Association defines stroke as a condition wherein blood flow to an area of the brain is cut off. The brain’s cells are then deprived of oxygen, causing them to die off. As a result, it can cause speech impediment, impaired memory and loss of movement in a patient. In worst cases, a stroke can even be fatal.

However, as a neurologist may tell you, up to 80 percent of strokes can be successfully prevented. All it takes is being aware of the warning signs of stroke and quick action to save a life or even yours.

Learning the Most Common Symptoms of Stroke Might Really Come in

FAST Response

The American Heart Association recommends learning what the acronym FAST stands for in the event of a stroke.

Face Drooping

People who are suffering from a stroke may appear to have a drooping face. One side may look uneven or lopsided. This is also normally accompanied by a sensation of numbness, especially on the affected side.

Arm Weakness

Weakness or numbness in one arm is a serious sign of stroke. If you or someone else has difficulty in raising both arms or if one arm is drifting downward, take immediate action.

Slurred Speech

Pay attention to slurring, especially when one is not under the influence of alcohol or other substances. Ask the person to repeat a short, simple sentence and see if they can correctly and clearly say the words.

Time to Call 911

Someone showing one or all these signs need prompt medical attention. Even if the symptoms do go away after a while, get yourself or another person you suspect of experiencing a stroke to the nearest hospital.

Other Symptoms of Stroke

The abovementioned signs of stroke are the ones commonly reported by most patients. However, not all episodes will be the same for everybody. Other people may notice different symptoms. For instance, men and women may experience dissimilar manifestations of stroke or a patient may be suffering from a different type of stroke. Therefore, it is best to be familiar with the lesser known signs. Be on the lookout for paralysis, numbness, pins and needles sensation, loss of balance, blurred vision, involuntary eye movements, dizziness, severe headache, confusion, loss of feeling on parts of the body, difficulty swallowing, and muscle stiffness.

Knowing the early symptoms of stroke may help minimize its long-term effects. As with any medical condition, however, prevention is still the best course of action. If your risk for stroke is particularly high, it pays to be safe by visiting a neurologist from trusted institutions in Leesburg, VA such as Neurology Associates.

Sources:

Understand Stroke, Stroke.org

Tips to Detect Early Warning Signs of Stroke, MedicineNet.com

Visit a Neurologist If You Suspect Dizzy Spells to Be Something More Serious

Dizziness is among the most common complaints of patients when they go to a healthcare provider. Before you dismiss it as another harmless dizzy spell, however, recent studies warn you to be more mindful of the symptoms you are experiencing. According to Vestibular Disorders Association (VEDA), vertigo accounts for a third of all dizziness complaints reported to medical professionals. (more…)

Alzheimer’s Disease Symptoms: When to Consult a Neurologist

The thought of getting Alzheimer’s Disease is a scary one for most people as this disease is presently incurable. No one wants to lose control of their faculties and as a form of dementia Alzheimer’s affects approximately 60-80% of all dementia cases.

What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

Basically, Alzheimer’s Disease is caused when brain cell connections and the cells themselves degenerate and die slowly taking away memory and other important mental functions. Everyone has moments when they are forgetful, but in Alzheimer’s patients being forgetful interferes with everyday living. The patient becomes frail as the disease progresses leading to an earlier than normal death depending on the person’s age. While this disease is most often associated with the elderly, early-onset Alzheimer’s can develop in people who are in their 40s or 50s.

What are the Symptoms of Alzheimer’s?

The symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease vary and can include problems such as memory loss and confusion, difficulties with communication and language, the inability to focus and pay attention, difficulties with reasoning and judgement, and trouble with visual perception. At the latest stages of the disease, a victim of the Alzheimer’s cannot function without the assistance of others as simple tasks such as eating becomes too difficult. On average, people with Alzheimer’s disease live for eight to ten years after the first symptoms.

Treatment of Alzheimer’s

No cure currently exists, but there are medications and management strategies available that may temporarily improve or delay symptoms. The first step to getting help for this disease is to seek a confirmed diagnosis. If you or a loved one has questions or concerns about Alzheimer disease you should consult Dr. Sarbjot Dulai, a local neurologist in VA at Neurology Associates.

Visit alz.org/brain for an interactive account of how Alzheimer’s Disease affects the brain and its functions.

Sources:

Alzheimer’s Disease – What is Alzheimer’s, alz.org
Alzheimer’s Society, alzheimers.org.uk