When Should You Seek Medical Attention For Your Headache?

when to seek medical attention for headache

A headache is a common symptom that everyone experiences at one point in their lifetime. Headaches could be nothing serious when they occur due to fatigue. Still, in some instances, a headache could be a symptom of a severe underlying medical condition that requires urgent medical attention. The symptoms that accompany your headache can guide the doctor to know what is causing the headache. 

Pain in any region of the head, whether occurring on one side or both sides of the head, qualifies as a headache. Different headaches present with different pain patterns because some can have sharp, dull, or even throbbing pain. There are different ways by which a physical medicine specialist in Monroe Township can treat headaches, including painkillers, laser therapy, lifestyle modification, and even stress reduction. 

What Are the Types of Headache? 

Headaches can be classified as primary or secondary headaches depending on the source of the pain. Primary headaches are caused by problems that occur at the pain- sensitive areas inside your head. Different factors cause primary headaches like damage in the head's nerves or blood vessels, imbalance of chemical activities in your head, or muscle problems. 

The types of primary headaches are migraines, tension headaches, cluster headaches, and trigeminal autonomic cephalalgia. Rarer types are cough and exercise headaches and sex headaches. Some triggers of primary headaches include stress, hunger, alcohol intake, and lack of sleep. 

Secondary headaches occur due to underlying medical conditions that stimulate the nerves that perceive pain in the head. The types of secondary headaches include medication overdose headaches, sinus headaches due to inflammation of the sinuses, spinal headaches caused by the leaking of cerebrospinal fluid, and external compression headaches due to pressure caused by headgears. 

Thunderclap headaches are type or secondary headaches that have multiple causes and cause severe headaches. Secondary headaches can be triggered by meningitis, concussions, hangovers, dehydration, tooth pain, stroke, intracranial hematoma, medications, middle ear infections, or hypertension. Consulting a doctor will help determine the exact cause of your pain and provide treatment for the pain. 

When Should You See A Doctor For A Headache? 

Most headaches are mild and respond well to painkillers. There is, however, some headaches that require treatment by a doctor. Severe headaches include headaches accompanied by confusion, high fever, neck stiffness, and projectile vomiting. You should also see a doctor if you have a headache accompanied by numbness or limb paralysis. 

A doctor should also check headaches that are associated with difficulty in speaking or visual problems. If you cannot walk when you have a headache or experience frequent severe headaches that worsen with time, you should have a doctor take a look. An underlying medical condition could cause these symptoms. When treated early enough, you will avoid having complications due to the headache. 


A headache is a common symptom, and most times, headaches are mild and go away with painkillers. There are times that a headache may be a complication of an underlying disease like headaches that present with confusion, fainting, or fever. Being aware of these severe symptoms and seeking treatment from a doctor early enough will help you avoid complications and get treatment to live a pain-free life.

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