When Should You Be Concerned About A Headache?

should you be concerned about headache head pain migraines

Headaches are a common occurrence and are usually a symptom of numerous medical conditions. Although it’s not unusual, if you experience a sudden, serious or persistent headache, you may be concerned about an underlying issue. So, how can you know when your headache requires medical attention? Keep reading for more details. You can also consult the team at the Neurology Center for Epilepsy and Seizures for more information on headaches. 

What Is A Headache? 

A headache is any pain you experience in your head, face or neck region. It might be caused by a variety of reasons, including muscle tension, dehydration, nerve aches, a disease, certain medications, or some foods and beverages. 

Headaches can be divided into two categories: primary and secondary. The primary types are the most common, and they occur without the presence of an underlying medical condition or illness. Examples of primary headaches are migraines, tension, and cluster headaches. On the other hand, secondary headaches result from an existing disease, hormonal changes, certain medications, or inflammation in a tooth or sinus. 

Home Treatments For Headaches 

If you are experiencing frequent headaches, recording the occurrences may help in figuring out their cause. If the cause is clear, like excessive caffeine intake, dehydration, or neck tightness, the problem can be curbed by a lifestyle change. You can also follow the following measures each time the headache occurs:

● Take some rest in a well-ventilated and quiet space 
● Take plenty of water 
● Place an ice pack or cool piece of cloth on your head 
● Massage your head, neck, jaw or shoulders if you’re experiencing a tension headache 
● Splash some cold water on your face 
● Consult a pharmacist about the type of pain medication that may be suitable for you, depending on whether you’re taking other medicines 

When Should You Consult A Doctor About Headaches? 

A headache not only inflicts pain, but it can also lead to loss of productivity. If you’re experiencing persistent headaches, you should see a neurologist to try and pinpoint the cause. While most headaches are not linked to an illness, you should be concerned if: 

● The headache is extremely severe 
● You are exhibiting any of the symptoms of a stroke, which include a drooping face on one side, inability to lift an arm, or slurred speech 
● Your headache occurs alongside a fever and stiff neck 
● You’re showing signs of extreme dehydration or heat stroke 
● You ingested or touched a poisonous substance, or were bitten by a dangerous animal or plant 
● You experienced a head injury from a vehicle accident, fall, violent blow, or another physical occurrence 

How To Prevent A Headache 

You may be able to prevent a headache through the following ways: 

● Eating regularly to refuel your body with healthy foods, because low levels of blood glucose may trigger headaches 

● Drinking plenty of water, especially after engaging in vigorous exercise or during a hot day to prevent dehydration 

● Ensuring you don’t spend too much time in a space that’s too hot, excessively cold, or poorly ventilated 

● Exercising regularly 

● Not sitting or standing in one position for a long time, because it can lead to muscle tension 

● Staying away from tobacco smoke, caffeine, and alcohol, all of which may lead to headaches 

● Minimizing your intake of chocolate 

● Going for regular eye checkups 

● Avoiding overuse of headache medications 

Through the above measures, you may be able to avoid headaches. However, if your headaches still occur, you should consult a doctor.