When is a Headache a Medical Emergency?

Although headaches are extremely widespread throughout all demographics of the population, not all of them can be reduced to straightforward reasons that are easy to comprehend.

A regular tension headache or cluster headache may cause alarm, but there are typically pretty straightforward ways to manage them medically, and many of them go away on their own without any treatment at all.

When is a Headache a Medical Emergency
When is a Headache a Medical Emergency

People who suffer from chronic migraines may have a more difficult time finding a treatment or simply simple relief from their symptoms, yet headaches are typically still controllable in most cases.

Should you be experiencing headaches because of a more serious issue, the following are some things you should keep an eye out for.

Bleeding in the Brain

You should be aware of the possibility that some headaches might be traced back to problems with your blood vessels, which can lead to bleeding in the brain. Although this is not a very common cause of headaches, you should not discount the possibility.

These are critical circumstances that require quick attention from medical professionals. Concerns about blood arteries can often lead to headaches, and some of these include the following:

  • Clots in veins
  • In the brain itself (known as an intracerebral hematoma) or around the brain (a subdural hemorrhage) (subdural hematoma)
  • Stroke (blood flow ceases to portion of the brain) (blood flow stops to a part of the brain)
  • Aneurysm (weakened wall of a blood artery that causes bleeding in the brain) (weakened wall of a blood vessel that causes bleeding in the brain)

Other Factors

Even if these reasons are uncommon, it is important to rule them all out before moving on, particularly if the circumstances are peculiar. Be cautious to keep track of whether this is a new or new sort of headache if you have existing conditions that could cause alarm.

If your condition could cause it, it is important to be checked out because it could be a sign of anything more serious. Other conditions that might be responsible for a bothersome headache include the following:

  • High blood pressure
  • A tumor in the brain
  • An increase in intracranial pressure that, at first glance, looks to be caused by a tumor but actually isn’t.
  • Edema of the brain, often known as brain swelling, can occur as a direct consequence of carbon monoxide poisoning, acute brain damage, or altitude sickness.
  • In this condition, the blood vessels that supply a portion of the head, neck, or temple with blood become inflamed and swollen (temporal arthritis)
  • Infection of the brain or infection of the tissue that surrounds the brain
  • Abscess of the brain

When to Call the Doctor

If this is the first severe headache you’ve ever had in your life, and the pain is preventing you from carrying out your normal activities, you should see a doctor as soon as possible.

Should you experience a headache after engaging in intensive activities such as aerobics, weightlifting, intercourse, or jogging, this may also be a warning indication of a potential problem.

Something that is out of the norm should always be investigated further. Other possible causes of your headache that warrant a trip to the doctor are as follows:

  • A blow to the head is either directly or indirectly responsible for your current headache.
  • Your headache gets steadily worse over the course of a day
  • Your speech becomes slurred, changes occur in your vision, you lose your equilibrium, or you get confused or forgetful; these are all signs of intoxication.
  • You have never suffered from headaches before, which is particularly significant if it is the case that you are over the age of 50.
  • As a result of having a sickness or illness, your immune system is compromised.

There are a lot of other things that could be causing it, but the simple answer is that you should go see a doctor if you are unsure.

 If your headaches are causing any sort of disruption to your sleep, or if they have persisted for more than a few days, you should consult a medical professional as soon as possible.

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