Migraine Specialist

Bharat Tolia, MD -  - Neurologist

Comprehensive Neurology

Bharat Tolia, MD

Neurologist located in Pontiac, MI

Migraines are more than a bad headache; they come with incapacitating neurological symptoms that can last for days. Bharat Tolia, MD, is skilled neurologist with experience treating painful and debilitating neurological conditions like migraines. If you need help dealing with chronic migraines, call Comprehensive Neurology Headache and Sleep Center in Pontiac, Michigan, or schedule an appointment online.

Migraine Q & A

What is a migraine?

A migraine is a type of headache that causes severe pain, sometimes throbbing, usually occurring in one part of the head. They typically last from four to 72 hours.

Migraines are often recognized by the neurological symptoms that they cause. These include:

  • Visual disturbances
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Extreme sensitivity to light and sound
  • Numbness or tingling in the face or extremities

What causes a migraine?

The exact cause of migraines is unknown, but several factors can play a role. Contributing factors include imbalances in brain chemicals and changes in the brainstem and its interaction with the trigeminal nerve.

Additional factors that can trigger a migraine include:

  • Bright light
  • Alcohol and caffeine
  • Processed foods
  • Aged cheese
  • Food additives
  • Skipping meals
  • Medications
  • Sleep changes
  • Intense physical activity


Fluctuations in the hormone estrogen can trigger migraines in women.

Who is at risk of developing migraines?

Anyone can have a migraine headache, but your risks increase if you have a family history of migraines. Women are also more likely to suffer from migraine headaches due to hormonal changes that play a factor in their cause.

Migraines can appear at any age, but they usually become less of a problem after you reach 40 years of age.

How are migraines diagnosed and treated?

During your exam, Dr. Tolia reviews your symptoms and performs a full physical. He also reviews your family’s medical history, and conduct additional tests like blood work and brain imaging to eliminate other conditions that could be causing your symptoms.

Treatment for migraines usually includes:

  • Lifestyle changes, such as a healthy diet and exercise
  • Stress management techniques, such as meditation
  • Physical therapies, such as massage and acupuncture
  • Eliminating or reducing medications that contain estrogen


Dr. Tolia may also recommend medications that effectively treat migraine pain. Medication therapy falls into two categories for migraine treatment: pain-relieving medications and preventative medications.

Pain-relieving medications include over-the-counter or prescription drugs that are designed to relieve pain symptoms. Preventative medications are taken on a regular basis to reduce the occurrence of a migraine.  

If you’re suffering from chronic migraine pain, call or schedule an appointment with Dr. Tolia online today to learn about your treatment options.