August 01, 2016

HEALTH MATTERS SERIES: When the symptom is a headache, finding the right treatment shouldn’t be

Headache

According to the World Health Organization, it has been estimated that almost half of the adult population has had a headache at least once within the last year. Chronic headaches can be among the most mysterious of health conditions, indicating other conditions or sometimes simply existing as a standalone problem.

The high probability of misdiagnosis in headaches raises some serious issues. Headache disorders collectively, were the third highest cause worldwide of years lost due to disability. A difficulty in diagnosis leads to more suffering, money spent and time wasted. And in the case of headache disorders, this applies to an amazingly large population.

Let us familiarize ourselves with two different types of headache disorders with common symptoms: migraines and cluster headaches.

Cluster headaches occur in cyclical patterns or clusters, and they are one of the most painful types of headache. A cluster headache commonly awakens you in the middle of the night with intense pain in or around one eye on one side of your head. Bouts of frequent attacks, known as cluster periods, can last for several months, usually followed by remission periods when the headaches subside for many months, and sometimes even years.

A cluster headache strikes quickly, usually without warning, although it is sometimes preceded by migraine-like nausea and sensitivity to light and sound. Common signs and symptoms during a headache include:

  • Excruciating pain, generally situated in or around one eye
  • Restlessness
  • Excessive tearing
  • Redness and swelling in your eye on the affected side
  • Stuffy or runny nose on the affected side

Other migraine-like symptoms—including sensitivity to light and sound—can occur with a cluster headache, though usually on one side.

A migraine, on the other hand, is usually a severe headache felt as a throbbing pain at the front or side of the head. Some people also have other symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and increased sensitivity to light or sound. The intensity and severity of migraines often cause misdiagnosis between the two types of headaches.

Cluster headaches are also sometimes confused with sinus headaches, further complicating the diagnosis.

The similarities between cluster headaches and migraines are subtle, but they are enough to make it difficult for your doctor to make a certain diagnosis. If you are experiencing severe, debilitating headaches, pay special attention to the symptoms you are experiencing and write them down so you can remember to tell your doctor. In addition to advocating for your own health, never be afraid to ask for a second opinion. It’s estimated that half of the affected population self-treats with over-the-counter medications, but a lot of the time this Band-Aid fix is not as effective long-term as an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

Headache

According to the World Health Organization, it has been estimated that almost half of the adult population has had a headache at least once within the last year. Chronic headaches can be among the most mysterious of health conditions, indicating other conditions or sometimes simply existing as a standalone problem.

The high probability of misdiagnosis in headaches raises some serious issues. Headache disorders collectively, were the third highest cause worldwide of years lost due to disability. A difficulty in diagnosis leads to more suffering, money spent and time wasted. And in the case of headache disorders, this applies to an amazingly large population.

Let us familiarize ourselves with two different types of headache disorders with common symptoms: migraines and cluster headaches.

Cluster headaches occur in cyclical patterns or clusters, and they are one of the most painful types of headache. A cluster headache commonly awakens you in the middle of the night with intense pain in or around one eye on one side of your head. Bouts of frequent attacks, known as cluster periods, can last for several months, usually followed by remission periods when the headaches subside for many months, and sometimes even years.

A cluster headache strikes quickly, usually without warning, although it is sometimes preceded by migraine-like nausea and sensitivity to light and sound. Common signs and symptoms during a headache include:

  • Excruciating pain, generally situated in or around one eye
  • Restlessness
  • Excessive tearing
  • Redness and swelling in your eye on the affected side
  • Stuffy or runny nose on the affected side

Other migraine-like symptoms—including sensitivity to light and sound—can occur with a cluster headache, though usually on one side.

A migraine, on the other hand, is usually a severe headache felt as a throbbing pain at the front or side of the head. Some people also have other symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and increased sensitivity to light or sound. The intensity and severity of migraines often cause misdiagnosis between the two types of headaches.

Cluster headaches are also sometimes confused with sinus headaches, further complicating the diagnosis.

The similarities between cluster headaches and migraines are subtle, but they are enough to make it difficult for your doctor to make a certain diagnosis. If you are experiencing severe, debilitating headaches, pay special attention to the symptoms you are experiencing and write them down so you can remember to tell your doctor. In addition to advocating for your own health, never be afraid to ask for a second opinion. It’s estimated that half of the affected population self-treats with over-the-counter medications, but a lot of the time this Band-Aid fix is not as effective long-term as an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

July 25, 2016

A Word from Our Experts

We enjoy sharing our members’ and clients’ success stories with you. However today, it’s time to hear from our Experts, some of the most talented physicians across the globe, about their experience working with Best Doctors.

The Best Doctors database includes over 53,000 of the world’s top medical experts in 450+ medical specialties. Each has been designated as among the best by other doctors through an exclusive, Gallup®-certified process. Best Doctors takes great pride in its highly regarded physician network and it turns out these physicians applaud our program as well.

 

Here’s what a few of them have to say:

 

“Without a doubt, Best Doctors is a simple and transparent way of providing high-quality second opinions to patients in difficult situations, and in a way that benefits both the patient and the doctor. I myself have had patients who used Best Doctors, and I found the expert reports to be reliable and highly informative.”

Dr. Luís Costa
Professor of Medicine
Director of Oncology
Hospital de Santa Maria

 

“I have had the privilege of working with Best Doctors for the past six years, both providing Best Doctors evaluations and receiving them and am continually impressed by the excellence of service to the patient, their families, and all health care providers involved in the patient’s care. This is a single source, that provides expert analysis and opinions in a timely, accurate and efficient way to optimize diagnosis and treatment for often complex medical and surgical problems. The collaboration among the Best Doctors staff and consultants combined with a user-friendly platform allows state of the art and cost-effective care to be carried out in every situation. With the patient always at the center, everyone benefits and there is no better service available today.”

Dr. Neal Futran
Director of Head and Neck Surgery
Chair of the Department of Otolaryngology

University of Washington Medicine

 

“Best Doctors’ members receive expert advice from specialists with documented and internationally acknowledged expertise. They benefit from unbiased advice, which aims at working in collaboration with their attending doctors, not against them. Additional travel for seeing another expert doctor for a second opinion and the burden of additional diagnostic tests and procedures can often be avoided. I am happy to support an organization that is aiming to help people both in Germany and around the world to improve the quality of their health care. As a pediatrician, I am convinced that parents will highly appreciate the reassurance to achieve optimal medical care for their sick child. Best Doctors can provide accurate and independent medical advice and expertise.”

Dr. Sibylle Koletzko
Professor and Director of Paediatric Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Dr. von Haunersches Kinderspital

 

“Having been a consultant for Best Doctors for over three years, I can say to patients and their treating doctors that Best Doctors is a virtuous and transparent organization. Never feel ashamed about asking for a second or third opinion. Excellent medical care and optimizing quality of life are the primary goals for every doctor in every country.”

Dr. Frans Moll
Professor and Director of Vascular Surgery
Chairman of the Department of Surgery

University Medical Centre Utrecht

 

“As a member of the Best Doctors European Medical Advisory Board, I am proud to be part of an organization that puts Europeans in touch with the world´s best available specialists. Having seen how my own expertise has helped members and their treating doctors make confident, informed decisions on their health, I would recommend Best Doctors to anyone seeking reassurance and certainty for themselves, their families and their loved ones.”

Dr. José Luis Zamorano
Professor of Medicine and Director of Cardiology
University Hospital Ramón y Cajal

We enjoy sharing our members’ and clients’ success stories with you. However today, it’s time to hear from our Experts, some of the most talented physicians across the globe, about their experience working with Best Doctors.

The Best Doctors database includes over 53,000 of the world’s top medical experts in 450+ medical specialties. Each has been designated as among the best by other doctors through an exclusive, Gallup®-certified process. Best Doctors takes great pride in its highly regarded physician network and it turns out these physicians applaud our program as well.

 

Here’s what a few of them have to say:

 

“Without a doubt, Best Doctors is a simple and transparent way of providing high-quality second opinions to patients in difficult situations, and in a way that benefits both the patient and the doctor. I myself have had patients who used Best Doctors, and I found the expert reports to be reliable and highly informative.”

Dr. Luís Costa
Professor of Medicine
Director of Oncology
Hospital de Santa Maria

 

“I have had the privilege of working with Best Doctors for the past six years, both providing Best Doctors evaluations and receiving them and am continually impressed by the excellence of service to the patient, their families, and all health care providers involved in the patient’s care. This is a single source, that provides expert analysis and opinions in a timely, accurate and efficient way to optimize diagnosis and treatment for often complex medical and surgical problems. The collaboration among the Best Doctors staff and consultants combined with a user-friendly platform allows state of the art and cost-effective care to be carried out in every situation. With the patient always at the center, everyone benefits and there is no better service available today.”

Dr. Neal Futran
Director of Head and Neck Surgery
Chair of the Department of Otolaryngology

University of Washington Medicine

 

“Best Doctors’ members receive expert advice from specialists with documented and internationally acknowledged expertise. They benefit from unbiased advice, which aims at working in collaboration with their attending doctors, not against them. Additional travel for seeing another expert doctor for a second opinion and the burden of additional diagnostic tests and procedures can often be avoided. I am happy to support an organization that is aiming to help people both in Germany and around the world to improve the quality of their health care. As a pediatrician, I am convinced that parents will highly appreciate the reassurance to achieve optimal medical care for their sick child. Best Doctors can provide accurate and independent medical advice and expertise.”

Dr. Sibylle Koletzko
Professor and Director of Paediatric Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Dr. von Haunersches Kinderspital

 

“Having been a consultant for Best Doctors for over three years, I can say to patients and their treating doctors that Best Doctors is a virtuous and transparent organization. Never feel ashamed about asking for a second or third opinion. Excellent medical care and optimizing quality of life are the primary goals for every doctor in every country.”

Dr. Frans Moll
Professor and Director of Vascular Surgery
Chairman of the Department of Surgery

University Medical Centre Utrecht

 

“As a member of the Best Doctors European Medical Advisory Board, I am proud to be part of an organization that puts Europeans in touch with the world´s best available specialists. Having seen how my own expertise has helped members and their treating doctors make confident, informed decisions on their health, I would recommend Best Doctors to anyone seeking reassurance and certainty for themselves, their families and their loved ones.”

Dr. José Luis Zamorano
Professor of Medicine and Director of Cardiology
University Hospital Ramón y Cajal

July 13, 2016

White Paper: Ensuring Medical Quality and Improving Outcomes

White Paper Cover for BlogThe higher cost doesn’t necessarily mean higher quality. In fact, misdiagnosis is rampant in the medical world, affecting hundreds of thousands of people each year.

It’s so common the Institute of Medicine (IOM) reported that most Americans will encounter at least one diagnostic error in their lifetime, sometimes with severe consequences to their mental or physical health. Recent studies have found medical error causes up to 440,000 deaths in the United States. In Canada, misdiagnosis accounts for up to 60,000 deaths per year at its highest estimate—equaling over 20 percent of the country’s total annual deaths.

Though much effort in the medical world has been focused on improving that quality, some care still lags far behind what it should be. Faced with this conundrum, employers are struggling to find the balance between medical care that is both cost-effective and efficient.

Our newest white paper explores the relationship between cost and medical quality, how to identify the top quality medical providers and our recommendations for improving medical quality in your programs.

Download the white paper for free here.

White Paper Cover for BlogThe higher cost doesn’t necessarily mean higher quality. In fact, misdiagnosis is rampant in the medical world, affecting hundreds of thousands of people each year.

It’s so common the Institute of Medicine (IOM) reported that most Americans will encounter at least one diagnostic error in their lifetime, sometimes with severe consequences to their mental or physical health. Recent studies have found medical error causes up to 440,000 deaths in the United States. In Canada, misdiagnosis accounts for up to 60,000 deaths per year at its highest estimate—equaling over 20 percent of the country’s total annual deaths.

Though much effort in the medical world has been focused on improving that quality, some care still lags far behind what it should be. Faced with this conundrum, employers are struggling to find the balance between medical care that is both cost-effective and efficient.

Our newest white paper explores the relationship between cost and medical quality, how to identify the top quality medical providers and our recommendations for improving medical quality in your programs.

Download the white paper for free here.