Is It Just A Bad Headache Or Something Worse?
Headaches are one of the most common ailments. Thankfully, this is an ailment that can usually be relieved by over the counter drugs, or something as natural and simple as a good night’s sleep.
But what if that headache is the sign of something worse? How can you tell? What action should you take. The good news is that the majority of headaches are harmless and will disappear after a few hours. However, it pays to know a few facts so that you can tell a normal headache from something more serious.
Is It A Headache Emergency? 5 Red Flags You Should Know
If you are suffering from a severe headache, it is important to diagnose the symptoms correctly. There are 5 signals that can help you do this and to tell whether yours is a headache emergency.
1. It is the worst headache you have ever experienced.
If you suffer from a sudden onset of headache symptoms that come on within minutes, you may only have a short time to get to the ER. While the condition is very rare, this could be the sign of a brain aneurysm. This condition can be treated, but only if you get to the ER within hours of an attack
2. You have neurological symptoms.
If you are suffering from a headache and also experiencing dizziness, slurred speech, weakness on one side of your body or memory loss, you could be suffering from a stroke or brain tumor. Prompt medical attention is critical.
3. You are 50+ and this is your first acute headache.
A sudden acute headache for the first time in your life could signify something more serious such as a stroke or brain tumor. You should seek medical attention immediately, especially if your headache is accompanied by nausea or vomiting.
4. You have had bad headaches in the past, but this one is different.
If you suffer from frequent headaches, you are probably an expert on their severity, duration and how to rid yourself from the pain. If you experience a major change in your headaches, you should get this checked out right away. Conditions could range from stroke, tumor or meningitis to something less serious such as a rebound headache—these are often caused by taking too many pain remedies.
5. You have a stiff neck, fever or vomiting.
These symptoms alongside a headache could point to meningitis. This condition is relatively rare in older people, but not unheard of. Younger people may be more likely to experience a stiff neck while older people may suffer more from confusion and loss of consciousness.
Don’t Panic — Your Headache Is Probably Not So Serious
It is good to know when a headache may be something more serious, but you really shouldn’t spend your time worrying. In fact, 95% of headaches are harmless and nothing to worry about.
If you are suffering from frequent headaches or migraine without the more severe symptoms described above, the headache experts at Miami Headache Institute would love to speak to you. We will tailor a treatment plan to suit your needs
Call our specialist headache management team today at 305.517.5712 or use our contact form to book a consultation.
Dr. Payman Sadeghi is the founder of the Miami Headache and Neurological Institute. He studied medicine at Nordestana University and finished his Internal Medicine internship and Neurology residency at the University of Texas. Dr. Sadeghi has completed an electromyography super fellowship as well as many epilepsy and neuroimaging fellowships. At his residency in Neurology at the University of Texas Medical Branch Dr. Sadeghi gained extensive experience diagnosing and treating headache and migraine patients. That residency, along with Dr. Sadeghi's medical curiosity and his varied clinical experience, has made him a specialist in headaches and their treatment.
Dr. Sadeghi was also a clinical assistant professor during his time at the University of Texas. He is a member of the American Headache Society, the National Headache Foundation and the American Academy of Neurology. Dr. Sadeghi is fluent in English, Spanish, French and Persian.