When to Call the Doctor About Your Migraines or Headaches

Migraines and headaches are a pain, but most of the time, they’re not signs that you have a serious medical problem. But when you have new symptoms or problems that are more severe than normal, it’s worth talking to your doctor.

Know your personal headache symptoms -- what’s normal for you and what’s not, and when you need emergency help.

The following headache symptoms mean you should get medical help right away:

A sudden, new, severe headache that comes with:

These migraine or headache symptoms don’t need urgent care, but you should let your doctor know if you:

  • Have three or more headaches per week
  • Have headaches that keep getting worse and won't go away
  • Need to take a pain reliever every day or almost every day for your headaches
  • Need more than two to three doses of over-the-counter medications per week to feel better
  • Have headaches that are triggered by coughing, bending, or intense physical activity
  • Have a history of headaches but have noticed a recent change in your symptoms

 

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Neil Lava, MD on January 21, 2017

Sources

SOURCES:

www.achenet.org: "Headache “Red Flags”: When to See Your Doctor."

Mayo Clinic: "Headache: When to see a doctor."

© 2017 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.