Headache/Migraine

Riviera Allergy Medical Center

Ulrike Ziegner, MD, PhD

Allergist & Immunologist located in South Bay, Redondo Beach, CA

Over the span of three months, more than 20% of women and 10% of men reported suffering from a migraine or severe headache. Dr. Ulrike Ziegner at Riviera Allergy Medical Center in Redondo Beach, California treats severe throbbing head pain. If you suffer from a pulsing sensation in one area of your head or neck, call or make an appointment online today.

Headache/Migraine Q & A

What is a migraine?

A migraine is an extreme throbbing or pulsing on one side of your head. Most migraine sufferers experience four stages:

  • Prodrome: One or two days before onset -- increased yawning, stiff neck, mood swings, and food cravings
  • Aura: Just before or during migraine -- visual, motor, or verbal sensations
  • Attack: Can last up to three days without treatment -- throbbing or pulsing pain on one side of head, sensitivity to light, sounds, and sometimes smells and touch. May also include blurred vision, nausea, and vomiting.
  • Post-drome: Following a migraine -- feeling light headed, confused, and weak

The frequency at which migraines occur varies from rarely to a few times a month.

How is a migraine diagnosed?

There are a number of factors that contribute to migraine suffering. They include:

  • An imbalance in serotonin
  • Changes in how the brainstem and pain pathways interact
  • Fluctuations in estrogen
  • Salty, processed foods
  • Aspartame, alcohol, and caffeine
  • Stress
  • Medications
  • Extreme light or smell

In order to diagnose your migraine, Dr. Ziegner reviews your medical history, symptoms, and does a physical and neurological examination. Blood tests, CT Scans, and MRIs help diagnose severe, complex, or unusual headaches.

Dr. Ziegner recommends you keep a headache journal. This enables you to keep track of when your headaches start, how long they last and anything that provides relief. A headache diary is also a good way to determine what you ate, how you felt, and any unusual stress before an attack.

How is a migraine treated?

It is best to try and prevent migraines through dietary modification, lifestyle changes, vitamins, and daily prescription medications. Should you experience symptoms, it is best to take pain medications as soon as possible. Resting or sleeping in a dark room also helps relieve symptoms.

It is not unusual for doctors to prescribe blood pressure drugs, antidepressants, or epilepsy medications to help combat migraines. Dr. Ziegner also prescribes anti-nausea, narcotics, and steroids to help severe headache sufferers.

If you suffer from a pulsing sensation in one area of your head or neck, call or make an appointment online today with Dr. Ulrike Ziegner at Riviera Allergy Medical Center in Redondo Beach, California.