Headaches are a common ailment that most people have experienced at some point in their lives. While most headaches are not serious and can be treated with over-the-counter pain medication, there are times when a headache could be a sign of a more serious medical condition. In this article, we’ll discuss warning signs to watch out for when experiencing a headache, and when it’s time to see a medical professional.
Types of Headaches
Before we get into the warning signs, it’s essential to know the different types of headaches. The three most common types of headaches are tension headaches, migraines, and cluster headaches.
Tension headaches are the most common type of headache and are often caused by stress or tension in the neck and shoulder muscles. Migraines, on the other hand, are severe headaches that can last for days and are often accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. Cluster headaches are less common and are characterized by severe pain on one side of the head, usually around the eye.
While most headaches are not serious, there are some warning signs that could indicate a more serious underlying condition. Here are some of the warning signs to watch out for:
Sudden onset of severe headache
If you experience a sudden onset of a severe headache that is unlike any other headache you have experienced before, seek medical attention immediately. This could be a sign of a ruptured blood vessel or an aneurysm, which requires urgent medical attention.
Headache with fever
If you experience a headache along with a fever, it could be a sign of an infection. Seek medical attention if your fever is high, or if your headache is severe and accompanied by other symptoms such as a stiff neck or confusion.
Headache after a head injury
If you have recently suffered a head injury, and you experience a headache, seek medical attention immediately. Headaches after a head injury could be a sign of a concussion or other serious head injury.
Headache with neurological symptoms
If you experience a headache along with neurological symptoms such as weakness, numbness, or difficulty speaking, seek medical attention immediately. These symptoms could be a sign of a stroke or other serious neurological condition.
Headache with vision changes
If you experience a headache along with vision changes such as blurred vision, double vision, or loss of vision, seek medical attention immediately. These symptoms could be a sign of a serious eye condition or neurological problem.
When to See a Professional
If you experience any of the warning signs mentioned above, seek medical attention immediately. If your headaches are persistent, severe, or interfere with your daily activities, it’s also time to see a medical professional. Other reasons to see a provider include headaches that are getting worse over time, headaches that occur more frequently, and headaches that are not responding to over-the-counter pain medication.
Scheduling a Medical House Call for Your Headache
If you are experiencing a severe headache and are unable to leave your home, a medical house call may be a good option for you. With Sickday, you can schedule for a board-certified medical practitioner to visit your home and assesses your symptoms before providing treatment. This method of receiving care can be especially helpful if your headache or other symptoms make it difficult for you to leave your home. To schedule a medical house call, contact the Sickday team through our website or by giving us a call.
While most headaches are not serious, it’s essential to watch out for warning signs that could indicate a more serious underlying condition. If you experience any of the warning signs mentioned above or have persistent headaches that interfere with your daily activities, it’s time to see a healthcare provider. Regardless of if you schedule an in-office or at-home appointment, receiving medical care when needed is extremely important.