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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

What Are Abdominal Migraines in Children and Adults?

An abdominal migraine is a variant of migraine headaches. It usually occurs in children who have a family history of migraines. Abdominal migraines are rare in adults, but about 2% of all children may get abdominal migraines. Females are more affected than males. Children that experience abdominal migraines typically develop migraine headaches when they get older. Although abdominal migraines are in the migraine family, the pain occurs in the belly. Usually, it's near the navel or midline. Abdominal...

Read the What Are Abdominal Migraines in Children and Adults? 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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