Why migraine sufferers often face misdiagnoses

South Carolina residents who suffer migraines may wind up being misdiagnosed by their doctors. One study shows that only one in 20 get an accurate headache or migraine diagnosis. This is because migraine symptoms mimic those of other conditions. The following are seven such conditions.

Most migraine sufferers start out thinking they have sinus headaches. Doctors may think so, too, but these are actually rare and caused by a viral or bacterial sinus infection. Another common condition that doctors will mistake a migraine for is an anxiety or panic attack. The issue is compounded by the fact that patients, amid the stress of living with migraines, may indeed develop anxiety.

Third, doctors may confuse migraines with Meniere's disease, a disorder of the inner ear that leads to dizziness, vertigo and a ringing in the ears. They may mistake it for epilepsy as well. Aura, characterized by tingling, numbness and sensitivity to sunlight and sound, is a symptom shared by migraines and seizures.

Fifth, those with hemiplegic migraines may be diagnosed with a stroke since both result in muscle weakness and a loss of sensation on one end of the body. Anyone who suffers a concussion may experience post-concussion symptoms that are shared by migraines, leading to another chance for misdiagnosis. Lastly, those who take medications may experience side effects that can be confounded with migraines.

In the event that a misdiagnosis leads to injury, a victim can file a malpractice claim. Of course, it must be shown that there was a doctor-patient relationship, that the patient followed all the doctor's instructions and that the doctor failed to uphold generally accepted medical practices. This is where a lawyer can come in. After a case evaluation, the lawyer can hire investigators, medical experts and other third parties. A victim can leave settlement negotiations to their lawyer as well.