Andrew Filiatraut D.O. F.A.C.O.I
Board Certified Internal Medicine
Board Certified Emergency Medicine
Andrew Filiatraut, DO, received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Dayton and graduated from Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine.
He completed an Internal Medicine Track Internship, as well as an Internal Medicine/Emergency Medicine Residency at St. John Medical Center (SJMC). Dr. Filiatraut has been appointed Assistant Program Director of the SJMC Internal Medicine Residency Program. He was a member of the Critical Care Committee at SJMC from 2005-2007. During his residency he received two awards for Outstanding Resident of the Year.
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My Head Is Killing Me
Headaches can be a serious problem for some people. Symptoms can range from mild discomfort that comes and goes to severe and debilitating pain. So what can you do to improve your situation and when do you need to seek medical help? Here is some information about common headaches and some information about when you need to see your doctor.
Migraines are perhaps the most common headache that brings people to the doctor's office. Commonly these types of headaches are described as "throbbing" and are associated with a transient visual disturbance, nausea, and light or noise sensitivity. Ibuprofen and acetaminophen can help reduce the intensity of migraines as can several prescription medications.
Cluster headaches are sharp stabbing headaches typically located behind the eye and can cause tearing and redness. The sensation can last for days. Somewhat more difficult to treat, these types of headaches can be crippling. There are prescription medications that can reduce the frequency and intensity of these. As with migraines, ibuprofen and acetaminophen can help.
Tension headaches are perhaps the most common type of headache. Generally these are not quite as severe as migraines or cluster type headaches. These are typically described as a squeezing around the head and gradually increase in intensity. These too tend to respond to ibuprofen, acetaminophen and when needed, other prescription medications.
Maybe you have been taking a certain medication for your headache and it seemed to help at first, but now your headache occurs almost every day. You wake up with the headache so you take some more which helps some, but never seems to get rid of it entirely. Believe it or not, your headache may be caused by the very medication you have been taking to get rid of it (even ibuprofen or acetaminophen). These headaches are referred to as medication over use headaches. Treatment for these is cessation of the "pain reliever".
If your headache sounds like any of the above and has been coming and going for more than 6 months without any significant change in symptoms it is unlikely that there is a serious underlying cause. Still some headaches can have serious and even life threatening consequences. Some signs and symptoms of these headaches include fever and neck pain, an onset that is sudden and severe, a recent head injury, onset after the age of 50, any history of cancer or HIV, and a headache that occurs daily and will not go away. If any of these are present or have any other concerns please seek medical advice from your physician.
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