Migraines are frequently misdiagnosed as other conditions

By Steven Miller
Senior Partner

New York residents who have been correctly diagnosed with migraines are, in a way, fortunate. One study shows that only one in 20 patients get an accurate headache or migraine diagnosis. The following are seven conditions that migraines are frequently confused with. The opposite, where patients with one of the seven conditions are diagnosed with a migraine, can occur as well.

Like many invisible chronic illnesses, migraines can be mistaken for anxiety and panic attacks. Patients may indeed develop anxiety, but this only results from the stress of living with migraines. A second mistake condition is Meniere’s disease. The symptoms of this disorder of the inner ear include vertigo, hearing problems and a ringing in the ears, which can be mimicked by migraines.

One serious variation, hemiplegic migraines, can be misidentified as strokes. Both cause muscle weakness and a loss of sensation on one end of the body. Fourth, doctors may think that migraine sufferers have epilepsy since both conditions can result in tingling, numbness and both sensory and visual changes.

Migraine attacks can also hurt the face and forehead, causing many doctors to mistake them for sinus headaches. The two last conditions depend on a patient’s circumstances. Migraine symptoms could be misread for post-concussion symptoms, or they could be misinterpreted as side effects to the medications that patients are taking.

A misdiagnosis can lead to unnecessary tests and treatments as well as personal injuries. The victim of a doctor’s negligence can seek compensation through a medical malpractice claim, but they may want a lawyer who works in this field to evaluate their grounds for a claim. Many malpractice claims end in large settlements, but the other side can be counted on to do everything possible to deny payment. A lawyer could handle negotiations and prepare for a trial in the last resort.

About the Author
Steven Miller, Esq. is the founding member and Senior Partner in Miller, Montiel & Strano, P.C. Mr. Miller’s extensive career as a trial attorney spans five decades. He tries cases for the catastrophically injured victims of construction site accidents, motor vehicle and premises accidents caused by the negligence of others. Mr. Miller is a detail oriented, tenacious attorney committed to achieving the maximum results for his clients; he has obtained numerous seven figure verdicts and settlements.