A migraine is a neurological disorder, and its symptoms can be mistaken for those of other conditions. One study shows that only 1 in 20 patients receive the correct migraine or headache diagnosis. Below are seven conditions with which patients in Pennsylvania may have been diagnosed when, in fact, they suffer from a migraine. The opposite can apply as well. Patients may be diagnosed with a migraine when they actually have one of these seven conditions.
The symptoms of a migraine, such as vomiting, nausea, head pain and light-headedness, are often interpreted as anxiety or panic attacks. The problem is compounded because many people do develop anxiety from the stress of living with a migraine. A second condition it can be mistaken for is Meniere's disease, which is a disorder of the inner ear.
A serious type of migraine called a hemiplegic migraine will manifest stroke-like symptoms, including the body losing sensation on one side. This frequently results in misdiagnoses. A fourth condition is epilepsy, which is due to migraines causing an aura, which is associated with sensory and visual changes and an inability to speak clearly.
The headaches, dizziness and ringing of the ears that migraine sufferers experience could be seen as post-concussion symptoms. Doctors may also misdiagnose migraines as sinus headaches. Individuals who take multiple medications may be mistakenly thought of as simply experiencing the medication's side effects.
Misdiagnoses and delayed diagnoses can result in injuries for patients. If the error was due to a manifest failure on the doctor's part to live up to generally accepted medical practices, then victims may be able to file a medical malpractice claim. A successful claim could cover the expense of medical treatments that could have been avoided as well as the income lost during the physical recovery. Victims are encouraged to hire a lawyer for building up the case and negotiating a settlement.