When to Call the Doctor for Your Headache?

Reviewed on 10/6/2020

Almost everyone must have experienced a headache at some point in their life.
Almost everyone must have experienced a headache at some point in their life.

You should call your doctor or visit the nearest emergency room for your headache if

  • This is the severe and worst headache you have ever had in your life. 
  • The headache that develops immediately after activities such as coughing, sneezing aerobics, bending, or sex.
  • Your headache develops after coughing or sneezing.
  • You develop a sudden, explosive headache.
  • You experience constant headaches always in the same location.
  • Your speech becomes slurred.
  • You experience visual disturbances.
  • You feel weakness in your limbs.
  • You lose balance while walking.
  • You have memory loss.
  • Your headache worsens over 24 hours.
  • Your headache pain wakes you up at night.
  • You also have a fever, stiff neck, nausea, and vomiting.
  • Your headache occurs after a head injury.
  • Your headache happens only on one side with redness in that side’s eye.
  • You are experiencing new headaches after the age of 50 years.
  • You have headaches accompanied by vision problems, pain while chewing, or weight loss.
  • You had cancer in the past.
  • Your immune system is weakened by a disease (such as human immunodeficiency virus [HIV] infection).
  • Your headache intensifies by waking up in the morning or getting up from a lying position.

Schedule a visit to your doctor if

  • Your headaches disturb your sleep.
  • Your headache lasts more than a few days.
  • Your headaches are worse in the morning.
  • Your headaches have a changed pattern or intensity.
  • You have headaches often whose cause is unknown. 
  • You need to take a pain reliever at least twice a week.
  • You have headaches that interfere with your daily life.
  • Your headache causes visual changes.
  • Your headache causes personality or mood changes.
  • Your headache is associated with the inability to move a body part.

What type of headaches are dangerous?

Almost everyone must have experienced a headache at some point in their life.

The most common reasons for your headache are migraines, tension headaches, cluster headaches, and sinus headaches. Headache is also most often experienced in some common viral infections such as the flu or even in something as simple as the cold.

However, it should be remembered that some headaches are a sign of a more serious problem that will necessitate medical attention right away.

Dangerous disorders in which headache presents as one of the symptoms are as follows:

QUESTION

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References
Headaches - danger signs. Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000424.htm

Headache “Red Flags”: When to See Your Doctor. Available at: https://americanmigrainefoundation.org/resource-library/headache-red-flags/

Headache. Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/headache/basics/causes/sym-20050800

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