Common reasons to see a neurologist include frequent headaches requiring regular medication intake for pain relief, chronic headaches in people above 50 years old, and headaches occurring with other symptoms, such as dizziness, blurry eyesight, vomiting, changes in consciousness or weakness, reports Everyday Health. Individuals who experience headaches and also lose control of speech or certain body parts should visit a neurologist.
Doctors usually refer patients to neurologists if they suffer headaches at least twice per week, headaches that worsen despite over-the-counter or prescription treatment, or intense headaches that occur suddenly along with fever or a stiff neck, states Everyday Health. Neurologists also diagnose patients who have the human immunodeficiency virus or who previously had cancer and start experiencing sudden headaches.
Because a patient's headache history is essential in making a diagnosis, doctors recommend keeping track of headache occurrences using a monthly calendar, according to Everyday Health. It's important to take note of the time of headaches and vision changes or sensitivity to noise or light during headache episodes. Headache sufferers should also record anything that improves or aggravates their headaches, especially foods, drinks and activities.
In addition to a patient's history, neurologists diagnose headaches by evaluating the patient's medical and family history, performing a physical exam and conducting a neurological exam, states Everyday Health. Additionally, they may order blood, spinal fluid and imaging tests.