Any kind of pain is your body's way of warning you about an
injury or illness. Although migraines and headaches are rarely the symptoms
of a serious illness, occasionally they may indicate a serious medical
condition such as a tumor or aneurysm (blood vessel rupture). It is important
for you to become familiar with your personal headache symptoms, and those that
require immediate medical attention.
If you or a loved one has any of the following headache
symptoms seek medical care immediately:
If you feel a dull, steady pain that feels like a band tightening around your head, you may have a tension headache.
If you feel throbbing that begins on one side and causes nausea or sound/light sensitivity, you may have a migraine. Visual disturbances, such as flickering points of light, may precede a migraine headache.
If you feel a non-throbbing pain around one red, watery eye, with nasal congestion on that side of your face, you may have a cluster headache.
If you feel a steady pain in the...
A headache that is associated with neurological (nerve) symptoms such as
weakness, dizziness, sudden loss of
balance or falling, numbness or tingling, paralysis, speech difficulties,
mental confusion, seizures, personality changes/inappropriate behavior, or
vision changes (blurry vision, double vision, or blind spots)
Headache with a fever, shortness of breath, stiff neck, or rash
Headache pain that awakens you at night
Headaches with severe nausea and vomiting
Headaches that occur after a head injury or accident
Getting a new type of headache after age 55
The following migraine or headache symptoms do not require
urgent care, but you should contact your doctor if you, or your loved one, have
any of these symptoms.
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
Need more than two to three doses of over-the-counter medications per week to relieve
Have headaches that are triggered by exertion, coughing, bending, or
Have a history of headaches, but have noticed a recent change in your