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young man grasping his head in pain from a migraine

What to Do When It’s a Migraine

A throbbing pain, usually on one side of the head, accompanied by nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light and sound are common symptoms of a migraine. Migraine pain can last for an extended period of time and can interfere with life and work, often to the point of the patient being completely sidelined.

Patients who frequently get migraines sometimes report noticing any of a variety of red flags that signal another migraine is on its way. Any optical change could be a warning sign such as: flashes of light, dimmed vision, blind spots or seeing stars. Tingling or numbness in the face, arm or leg may also be a warning sign that a migraine is looming. Finally, hallucinations, muscle weakness and speech difficulties are also warning signs. These “migraine aura” signs can start an hour before the migraine pain and last up to an hour. Occasionally, the aura signs cease without any accompanying migraine pain.

So what can you do when you get a migraine? Here are some suggestions from Dr. Michael Chiang at Advance ER in North Dallas:

  1. Get a proper diagnosis – see your physician or come into Advance ER any time for fast help. A proper diagnosis may require tests such as blood draws or a CT scan to rule out any underlying causes for the pain.
  1. See a specialist – Advance ER offers SPECIALIST NOWTM, a unique program that allows you almost immediate access* to a specialist who will consult with you at no additional office fees from the specialist. A neurologist may be called in to discuss your migraines.
  1. Get relief – a variety of pain-relievers are available, depending on the severity of the symptoms and your personal history. “We don’t want you suffering for hours or even days without relief,” said Dr. Chiang. “Come in and let us diagnose you and then discuss pharmaceutical intervention to help you through the migraine.”
  1. Consider prevention medication – your physician will discuss whether or not a prevention medication, commonly taken daily, is right for you.

What are the warning signs that require a trip to the ER?

  • A bad headache that hits you suddenly and severely
  • A headache after having injured your head or having been in an accident
  • A fever and stiff neck
  • A sudden migraine when you have no family history or personal history of them, especially if you’re over age 50
  • A fever with seizures, muscle weakness, speech difficulty, confusion, dizziness or double vision

“If you develop a severe headache with any of these symptoms, you could be experiencing a serious medical condition and you need to get to the nearest ER right away,” said Dr. Chiang.

Where can I get fast help?

Advance ER is available in two locations for your convenience:
Advance ER – Galleria Area

12338 Inwood Road Dallas, TX 75244

Advance ER – Park Cities

5201 W Lovers Lane Dallas, TX 75209

“At Advance ER, we’re always ready to help you when you need it the most,” said Dr. Chiang. “You’ll get top medical care for your urgent needs.”

*Access to specialists through Advance ER’s SPECIALIST NOWSM program is contingent on the specialist’s availability.

Meet Dr. Chiang:

Michael Chiang, M.D., is the Managing Partner and Director of SPECIALIST NOWSM at Advance ER.

Dr. Chiang graduated from Indiana University School of Medicine, and completed his residency from UCLA. He is board-certified and a member of the American College of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Chiang has been practicing emergency medicine for two decades and sees patients of all ages for emergency health care.

He previously served as the Chief of Emergency Medicine at the nationally renowned The Heart Hospital at Baylor Plano.