Headaches are usually caused by stress, tension and sinuses and don’t represent a health danger. However, you should learn to recognize serious and dangerous headaches because they often require urgent medical attention.
The following headaches require a visit to the doctor:
- Thunderclap headaches
These headaches are frequent and severe. They develop in only one minute and can be caused by brain bleeding after a stroke, head injury or aneurysm.
- Headache after an injury
If you’ve suffered from a head injury that was followed by a headache, you need medical attention immediately. The headache may be an indicator of a concussion and you need to consult a doctor. Even a simple small head injury can cause bleeding in the brain which can result in skull pressure or headache.
- Headache gets worse when walking
If you had a headache when you went to bed, and then woke up with an even worse headache that causes vomiting, then this is also a dangerous headache. If headache medicines do not help you, and the headache increases when you walk or exercise, this can be a serious issue. This type of headache can be a symptom of a brain tumor.
- The worst headache of your life
This type of headache includes pain in the head and upper neck when lying still, stiffness of the neck, intolerance to light, vomiting and confusion. This headache can indicate hemorrhage caused by a ruptured aneurysm in the brain, and you need to consult a medical professional immediately.
- Sudden headaches
Sudden headaches that are accompanied by severe pain, weakness of the arms, legs and face, numbness in one side of the body, loss of balance, trouble speaking or walking and difficulty to see on one or both eyes, may indicate a heart attack and you must go to the ER immediately.
- Unusual headache
If you experience a weird headache that is unlike other headaches that you’ve had in the past, consult a doctor. Characteristics of an unusual headache are:
- Headaches after the age of 50
• The headaches change severity, location and frequency
• The headaches become worse
• Speech and vision difficulties
• Headache after jogging, weight lifting or sex
• The worst headache you have ever experienced
• Imbalance, memory loss, confusion and inability to easily move the extremities
• Headache followed by fever, vomiting and nausea
• Shortness of breath
• Incapability to perform normal daily activities