Signs You Should Be Concerned about Headaches
Headaches are among the most common symptoms you experience. Headaches might be linked to serious medical conditions, or they might be no real cause for concern. How do you know? Here are some of the signs that you should take a headache seriously.
Recurring headaches are a cause for concern. They are more likely to be linked to serious conditions and disrupt your daily routine. The definition of a recurring headache varies, but if you experience 15 headaches per month or at least two headaches per week over a long period of time, you should take it seriously.
Most headaches last a few minutes to a few hours. However, some can last for days. If you experience a headache that lasts much longer than any you’ve had in the past, you should talk to a doctor.
Headaches That Wake You Up
Pain so bad that it disrupts your sleep is always a concern. If you experience this pain level, you should talk to your doctor about it.
Throbbing headache pain is often associated with migraines. Watch for other migraine symptoms, including nausea and sensitivity to light and sound. If you suddenly develop migraines, it might be a sign of another serious medical condition.
If your headache pain feels like the worst headache you’ve experienced, you should talk to your doctor about it. Also, talk to your doctor if your normal headache remedies, such as over-the-counter (OTC) medications, aren’t effective.
If you experience headaches that start or worsen when you take OTC medications, you should talk to your doctor. You should also talk to your doctor if persistent or prolonged headaches cause you to use OTC medications beyond the label recommendations.
Headaches with Fever and Stiff Neck
A fever is a warning sign that your body is fighting an infection. You might experience a headache as part of a flu or other condition. One serious infection you should look out for is meningitis, which can cause a headache and a stiff neck and can be fatal if left untreated.
Headaches with Changes in Cognitive Function and Coordination
A stroke can cause headaches along with other symptoms, such as:
- Muscle weakness
- Loss of coordination
- Vision changes
- Speech difficulties
You should seek emergency care if you experience these symptoms alongside a headache. An untreated stroke can rapidly cause irreversible brain damage.