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September 2008 Mayo Clinic Health Letter Highlights Cataract Removal, Severe Headache and Dual Energy X-Ray Imaging
Date:9/2/2008

adeoffs in quality of vision. For example, distance vision with a multifocal lens may not be as good as distance vision with a monofocal lens.

Whatever lens is selected, recovery time is generally quick. Mild pain and discomfort diminishes and disappears and vision steadily improves within the first few days. After several weeks of healing, patients can select glasses or contact lenses to fine-tune their vision.

Severe Headache Could Signal Blood Vessel Inflammation

ROCHESTER, Minn. -- Severe and frequent headaches, especially in people who don't typically have headaches, warrant a visit to the doctor.

The headaches could be a symptom of vasculitis -- blood vessel inflammation. Vasculitis is an autoimmune disease, where the body's immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. Depending on the type of vasculitis -- there are more than a dozen -- the disease can disrupt blood circulation and, in some cases, cause death, according to the September issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter.

In addition to headache, symptoms might include fever, fatigue, weight loss, muscle and joint pain, appetite loss, and numbness or weakness. Often, the exact cause of vasculitis isn't known, although some forms can be linked to infections such as hepatitis B and C, as well as certain medications.

Diagnosis usually involves blood tests and imaging studies of the blood vessels. It also may include a biopsy of an affected blood vessel or tissue.

Treatment depends on the type of vasculitis, its severity and the patient's overall health. The anti-inflammatory properties of corticosteroid medications such as prednisone and methylprednisolone often improve symptoms within days. Immune-suppressing and cytotoxic drugs are used when vasculitis is severe and does not respond to corticosteroids.

Thanks to drug treatments, some types of vasculitis that were once considered fatal can be managed or even go into remission. However, side effects wit
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