Headaches are common in our daily life. Usually they are not serious and occur from stress, sinus, and tension. The problem arises when you have to differentiate between dangerous and non-dangerous headaches which are rare, but require immediate attention. Before you ignore a serious, urgent headache you should know when to see a doctor.
Here are some which require your attention:
• Thunderclap headache
This type of severe headache that occurs frequently, it develops within 60 seconds and has severe pain. Causes of a thunderclap headache can be bleeding in the brain after an injury, stroke, or aneurysm.
• Headache after injury
If you have experienced a head injury your headache requires special attention. A headache after an injury may indicate concussion and requires immediate medical treatment. Even a fairly minor injury to the head can cause an invisible bleed, causing pressure in the skull.
• Headache that is worse upon waking
A headache that’s worse in the morning and causes vomiting is a dangerous headache. As the day progresses it gradually improves but worsens with exercise, coughing, or bending and does not improve with regular headache medicines. Beware! This can be a sign of brain tumor. Per Casilda Balmaceda, M.D., an Assistant Professor of Neurology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City, only 8% of those with brain tumors have headaches as the first and only symptom.
• Worst headache of your life
You can actually find the term, “worst headache of your life,” in medical textbooks to describe the pain linked with a subarachnoid hemorrhage caused by a ruptured cerebral aneurysm. It involves pain in the upper neck and head when lying still, stiff neck, inability to tolerate light, confusion, and vomiting. See a healthcare professional right away for diagnostic testing.
• Sudden headache
A headache that occurs suddenly without cause demands concern. These headaches can be severe and often make one side of the body numb, it can also cause weakness in your face, arms, and legs. This sudden headache can be a sign of a stroke. Other symptoms include loss of balance, difficulty in seeing from one or both eyes, and trouble walking or speaking. If you experience any of these symptoms you should immediately see your health care professional.
• Unusual headaches
If you are experiencing any unusual headache you should consult your health care professional. Some features of unusual headaches include:
- Those that develop after age 50
- The frequency, location, and severity changes frequently
- Worsens each day
- Hampers vision and speech
- Occurs after activities like weight lifting, sex, or jogging
- This is the worst headache you have ever had
- With the headache you suffer from memory loss, difficulty moving extremities, loss of balance, and confusion
- They occur with fever, nausea, or vomiting and are not linked to other health issues
- Headache linked with shortness of breath
- Accompanied by seizures
- Your headaches limit your ability to work and/or participate in life events