Skip the Emergency Room During Your Next Migraine

Kenneth Knowles, MD
Medically reviewed by Kenneth Knowles, MDFebruary 14th, 2020

When you’re in the grip of a particularly bad migraine, it’s common to just want it gone, at any cost. For this reason, plenty of people either wait it out in the dark or endure the agony of the bright lights at their local emergency room to get treatment for non-life-threatening conditions. But there’s a better way!

Why the ER Is Bad for Migraine Sufferers

Even 10 seconds, someone in the U.S. goes to the emergency room complaining of head pain. And if you’ve had severe migraines in the past, you understand that this is so much more than just a headache. All of your senses are extremely sensitive, and the ER is a sensory nightmare. From the bright fluorescent lights to the chaos and noise of ambulances arriving and people coming and going, to the overwhelming smells of perfumes and cleaning agents, this is exactly the type of environment that will make a migraine episode even worse.

Beyond that, because ER staff are busy treating patients with emergency symptoms, migraines can be triaged as a low-priority case. This can lead to long waiting times in a painfully unsuitable environment before you ever even get the chance to speak with a clinician.

Sometimes Medical Intervention Is Necessary

While sometimes you can tough it out at home or self-treat recurrent migraines, there are times when you need to have a medical professional evaluate your symptoms to make sure it’s not something more serious. And other times a migraine can last days or weeks with no relief until treated by a qualified medical team.

If your migraine is far more severe than you’ve ever experienced or includes new symptoms such as numbness, weakness, dizziness or confusion, you should be evaluated and treated by a qualified medical professional to rule out a stroke or other serious condition. Likewise, you should seek professional help if you experience new or more severe nausea or vomiting, blurred vision, blind spots or if you’ve recently had a head injury. These symptoms and causes could mean your migraine is actually something more serious, and you should consider heading to the hospital.

If you are suffering from your typical migraine and you’re experiencing more than three headaches per week, taking pain relievers daily for headaches, or have a severe migraine that is not responding to your normal methods of treatment, it may be time to seek help in relieving your pain.


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A Better Option

Wouldn’t you rather retreat to a dark, quiet room in your own home, rest under the covers and wait for medical care? That’s where

DispatchHealth comes in. A medical team — consisting of either a physician assistant or nurse practitioner along with a DispatchHealth medical technician (DHMT)— will deliver high-quality care to you, in the comfort of your home.

If you routinely suffer from migraine pain, download the DispatchHealth app today. Then, next time you need medical treatment for a migraine, simply enter your symptoms and get care delivered within a few hours. DispatchHealth is covered by most major insurers including Medicare.

So the next time you’re suffering from a typical migraine, skip the waiting room and let DispatchHealth’s medical team evaluate your symptoms, treat your pain and get you on the road to recovery without stepping a foot outside into the loud, bright, painful world.

If this is an emergency, please call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department.


DispatchHealth relies only on authoritative sources, including medical associations, research institutions, and peer-reviewed medical studies.

Sources referenced in this article:

The DispatchHealth blog provides tips, tricks and advice for improving lives through convenient, comfortable healthcare.

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