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When should someone call their doctor about headaches?

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Call your doctor if:

  • You have a new kind of headache that you've never felt before. Does it happen the first thing in the morning, bring on vomiting, and then go away during the day? See your doctor without delay.
  • You have a high fever and severe pain with nausea and a stiff neck. You may have meningitis. Get medical help now.
  • You are drowsy with dizziness, vertigo, nausea, or vomiting after a head injury. You may have a concussion. See your doctor right away.
  • You have recurring or very painful headaches.

SOURCES: 

Buchholz, D. Workman Publishing Company, 2002.  Heal Your Headache: The 1-2-3 Program for Taking Charge of Your Pain,

Livingstone, I. " " Novak Owl Books, 2004.  Breaking the Headache Cycle: A Proven Program for Treating and Preventing Recurring Headaches,

Smith T. 2004.  Drugs,

Young, W. Demos Medical Publishing, 2004.  Migraine and other Headaches,

Cady R. , July 2005. Mayo Clinic Proceedings

UpToDate: Patient information: Headache causes and diagnosis in adults (Beyond the Basics).

National Institutes of Health.

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on July 19, 2017

SOURCES: 

Buchholz, D. Workman Publishing Company, 2002.  Heal Your Headache: The 1-2-3 Program for Taking Charge of Your Pain,

Livingstone, I. " " Novak Owl Books, 2004.  Breaking the Headache Cycle: A Proven Program for Treating and Preventing Recurring Headaches,

Smith T. 2004.  Drugs,

Young, W. Demos Medical Publishing, 2004.  Migraine and other Headaches,

Cady R. , July 2005. Mayo Clinic Proceedings

UpToDate: Patient information: Headache causes and diagnosis in adults (Beyond the Basics).

National Institutes of Health.

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on July 19, 2017

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When should someone call 911 with headaches?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.