People with lupus may experience headaches. Headaches have been described as pulsating, pressing, or even stabbing. The headaches may come in episodes or may be an all-day or frequent occurrence. Headaches may be related to tension in the muscles around the eyes, face, neck or shoulders. Migraines are another common type of headache experienced by people with lupus.
Researchers have not found strong evidence that inflammation from lupus causes headaches directly. Symptoms of fatigue and body pain may disrupt usual patterns of sleep, diet, and activity leading to a higher risk of headaches.
Seeing a Doctor for Headache
If you are experiencing any type of headache consistently, it may be time to seek help from a doctor. This is especially true if the headaches are increasing in frequency or severity, or if your headaches are disrupting your ability to complete day-to-day activities.
Headaches can be treated by your primary care doctor who may place a referral to a neurologist if your headaches are unusual or difficult to treat. Seek immediate medical help if your headaches cause vision loss, loss of consciousness, uncontrollable vomiting, or if it lasts for more than 72 hours.
Dizziness or vertigo is the sensation that your surroundings are spinning or moving even though they aren't. This feeling may be associated with nausea. Walking, standing up, or moving your head might make your dizziness worse. This feeling can last from a few seconds to a few days.
Seeing a Doctor for Dizziness
If your dizziness is severe or begins to affect your quality of life, then seeing a doctor may be a good option. Start by reaching out to your primary care provider where you may have your vital signs checked and an exam performed. They may perform head or eye movement tests, ask about your medical history, or order bloodwork to check for an infection or problems with your heart. You may be referred to an otolaryngologist, who specializes in conditions that affect the ears, nose, and throat or a neurologist. Your treatment options might include medications and physical therapy.