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Seeking Medical Care for a Migraine or Headache

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When to Seek Medical Care for a Headache or Migraine

Call a doctor if any of the following occur:

Recommended Related to Migraines/Headaches

Understanding Migraine -- the Basics

Migraines are a type of headache that cause severe, throbbing pain, often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light (photophobia) or sound (phonophobia). Migraine headaches generally last between four and 72 hours. Many people experience certain symptoms prior to the onset of the head pain. Symptoms that precede and herald an upcoming headache are referred to as an "aura," and usually last under an hour. Symptoms of an aura include: Changes in your vision (even brief blindness) ...

Read the Understanding Migraine -- the Basics article > >

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

  • Weakness or paralysis
  • 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
  • Seizure

WebMD Medical Reference from eMedicineHealth

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on February 22, 2015
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