Headache on left side from TIA's?

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  • Full Question:

    does headache on left side could it be from a tias because my eye dr said i have had tias. Rhonda.


    Full Answer:

    Dear Rhonda;


    TIA's (transient ischemic attacks) can cause headaches. On the other hand, so can Migraines and many other conditions.


    Your eye doctor told you you've had TIA's. Did he tell you that's what's causing your headaches? If you haven't discussed these headaches with your regular doctor, it's important that you do so.


    You don't say if your "eye doctor" is an optometrist or ophthalmologist. Optometrists examine people's eyes to diagnose vision problems, such as nearsightedness and farsightedness, and they test patients' depth and color perception and ability to focus and coordinate the eyes. Optometrists may prescribe eyeglasses or contact lenses, or they may provide other treatments, such as vision therapy or low-vision rehabilitation. Optometrists also test for glaucoma and other eye diseases and diagnose conditions caused by systemic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure, referring patients to other health practitioners as needed. Ophthalmologists are physicians who specializes in the medical and surgical care of the eyes and visual system and in the prevention of eye disease and injury. They provide a full spectrum of care including routine eye exams, diagnosis and medical treatment of eye disorders and diseases, prescriptions for eyeglasses, surgery, and management of eye problems that are caused by systemic illnesses. The point is that an optometrist isn't a physician. An ophthalmologist is, but their specialty is eye conditions, not headaches or TIAs.

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    That's why you need to see your regular physician - to confirm the "eye doctor's" diagnosis of TIA and to diagnose your headaches. Even if you have had TIAs, it's not really safe to assume that they're the cause of your headaches. That needs to be confirmed, and your doctor needs to check to be sure that the headaches aren't a symptoms of more TIAs or even a stroke.


    So, please be safe and call your doctor for an appointment? If your doctor isn't sure, it may well be time to consult a Migraine and headache specialist. It’s important to note that neurologists aren’t necessarily Migraine and headache specialists. Take a look at the article Migraine and Headache Specialists - What's So Special? If you need help finding a Migraine specialist, check our listing of Patient Recommended Migraine and Headache Specialists.


    Please let us know how this turns out for you and how you're doing?


    Good luck,
    John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert



    To review other questions from our Ask the Clinician Column,
     browse the Ask the Clinician archives.


    If you need help finding a  Migraine and headache specialist,
     visit our listing of Patient Recommended Specialists.



    About Ask the Clinician:

    Dr. Krusz is a recognized expert in the fields of headache and  Migraine treatment and pain treatment. Each week, he and Lead Expert Teri Robert, team up to answer your questions about headaches and  Migraines. You can read more about Dr. Krusz or more about Teri Robert.


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    Last updated September 6, 2010.

Published On: September 06, 2010