The Importance of being informedMarch 4, 2019
Managing a neurologic disorder is new territory. To effectively manage a neurologic condition, the person should be armed with new information and new skill sets. Informed involvement of the patient in the treatment programme can lead to better care and better outcomes. But one cannot escape the question of how such information could help in curing the condition.
Presenting their book, Navigating Life with Migraine and Other Headaches, authors William B. Young and Stephen D. Silberstein seek to address this question, underscoring the importance of being informed about your condition.
Headache is one of the most common complaints patients consult neurologists for. It is the seventh most common symptom for which they visit primary care providers. Headache is such a common symptom that it often goes overlooked, undertreated, overtreated or untreated. Many people think that “nothing can be really done”. While many others, including some doctors, seem to cherish certain notions: For example, without aura, tingling, numbness and blurred vision, a headache cannot truly be called migraine. But it remains a fact that most of the people suffering from migraine do not experience aura or any of these symptoms.
You can avail the best new treatments if you land up with the right expert. The key requisite is that you should be armed with the right kind of information about the condition.
Spread across three sections, the book explains migraine and other headaches in simple terms. All the known forms of migraine, migraine equivalents, their triggers, symptoms, patterns as well as the hormonal aspects of the condition are discussed at length. Then it goes on with various drugs as well as other alternative and behavioural treatments for migraine. The authors point out that migraine can occur at any age. Even very young children are suspected of having migraine, but it is difficult to diagnose it until they learn to speak.
Sinus headaches and headaches related to disorders of the neck, post-trauma, trigeminal neuralgia etc are classified under Secondary Headaches and Neuralgia section. While listing some of the headaches that require urgent medical attention, the book also mentions some of the unusual type of headaches such as ice pick headaches and sexual activity headache.
The book provides up-to-date and useful answers to the questions that concern most to the patients and caregivers, illustrated with real-life experiences of patients and families.
Physician’s decision is not “a one
shoe fits all” enterprise. The more precisely you pin down and communicate your problem, the more likely you walk out of your doctor’s office with a plan right for you, says the book.