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Migraines & Headaches Health Center

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Headaches - Topic Overview

Headaches are one of the most common pain-related health problems in both children and adults. You may have a headache along with another minor health problem such as a sore throat, cold, or sinus problem.

The most common types of headaches usually are not serious but may occur again and again.

Common causes of headaches include:

Although rare, a headache may be a symptom of a serious illness. Other symptoms, such as vomiting, dizziness, or changes in vision, may also be present. The following serious illnesses or injuries can cause headaches.

  • A head injury:
    • Injury to the brain (concussion)
    • Fracture of the skull
    • Bleeding in or around the brain
  • Brain tumor, which causes swelling within the brain
  • Infection in the brain (encephalitis) or of the membrane surrounding the brain and spinal cord (meningitis)
  • Stroke, a problem that occurs when a blood vessel (artery) that supplies blood to the brain bursts or is blocked by a blood clot
  • A rupture of a blood vessel with bleeding in or around the brain (aneurysm)

Check your symptoms to decide if and when you should see a doctor.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: April 17, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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