Migraine Headaches, Vision Effects (cont.)
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Exams and Tests
In older persons, the doctor may order specific laboratory studies in order to rule out physical causes like giant cell arteritis (an inflammation or infection involving certain arteries in the head and neck), brain tumor, meningitis, or brain hemorrhage. Other causes should be ruled out using appropriate laboratory and/or radiographic (x-ray) tests.
Migraine headache is a diagnosis of exclusion, and doctors will be more concerned forpeople who have headaches on only one side of the head.
An MRI/MRA (magnetic resonance imaging/magnetic resonance angiogram) of the head may be done to help rule out tumors or problems with the blood vessels.
Visual-field testing should be done for those who have lasting visual problems.
A lumbar puncture (spinal tap) may be done to rule out infection, inflammation, elevated pressure in the head, or bleeding in the membranes covering the brain. When appropriate, the doctor may look inside arteries of the head and neck with a tiny camera, a procedure called endoscopy.
Ronald Braswell, MD
Joseph Carcione Jr, DO, MBA
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
James H Halsey, MD
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