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Seeking Medical Care for a Migraine or Headache

When to Seek Medical Care for a Headache or Migraine

Call a doctor if any of the following occur:

  • A change in frequency, severity, or features of the migraine commonly experienced
  • A new, progressive headache that lasts for days
  • A headache brought on by coughing, sneezing, bearing down, straining while on the toilet, and so on
  • Large, unintentional loss of body weight
  • Weakness or paralysis that lasts after the headache

Go to a hospital emergency department if any of the following occur:

Recommended Related to Migraines/Headaches

10 Terms Every Migraine Sufferer Should Know

Some headaches can be summed up in just a few words. A migraine, however, can be a lengthy event that causes far more than just head pain. If you have migraines, learning a few new words may help you better understand and describe your symptoms. Here are the definitions of 10 important migraine terms: Ataxia. This is the medical term for difficulty using your muscles that leads to lack of coordination. A type of migraine called basilar migraine, which involves the brainstem, may cause ataxia...

Read the 10 Terms Every Migraine Sufferer Should Know article > >

  • Having the worst headache ever, especially if the headache came on very quickly
  • Headache associated with trauma to the head
  • Trauma to the head with loss of consciousness
  • Fever or stiff neck associated with a headache
  • Decreased level of consciousness or confusion
  • Paralysis of one side of the body
  • Seizure

WebMD Medical Reference from eMedicineHealth

Reviewed by Varnada Karriem-Norwood, MD on February 23, 2013
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