when a headache is an emergency، Almost everyone has a headache at some point. Most of the time, you can relieve it with a pill without a prescription. Other times, learning some way to relax and relieve tension, or getting treatment for sinus infections, can make the headache go away.
But sometimes headaches can be a sign of a serious health problem. High blood pressure, a stroke, a brain tumor, a carbon monoxide poisoning, infections, a concussion and more could be associated with headaches .
when a headache is an emergency
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That’s why it’s important to know when you have to take some action. Do not try to diagnose the problem. Talk to your doctor or go to emergencies and let the professionals find out.
Medical experts say that a headache emergency should be considered , enough to call 911, if:
You describe the pain head as the worst he has had in his life.
His headache suddenly appeared and he feels it is explosive.
He has a high fever and nausea, in addition to a headache.
She talks unclearly, experiences changes in vision, dizziness, confusion or inability to move her arms or legs on one side of her body.
There are also reasons to worry if:
Your headache is the first serious one that you have had in your life and it is limiting your ability to function.
Your headache started right after a head injury, after strenuous exercise or even after having sex.
His headache is extreme, and one of the eyes seems injected with blood.
You are over 50 years old and start suffering from headaches suddenly for the first time in your life.
You have a persistent headache that gets worse after 24 hours.
Some situations in which a headache occurs may not merit a 911 call, but it may be worth going to the doctor.
That is the case if the headaches wake you up when you are asleep or if they get worse in the morning. Another reason to go to the doctor: if a headache persists for days or does not have an apparent cause, such as tension or dehydration.
The causes of headaches that require emergency care
The distinction between the different types of headache is not always clear. The exact diagnosis depends first of all on a comprehensive medical evaluation. Also, you need to talk in detail about the symptoms that the patient shows ; thoroughly and completely review the medical file and carry out a thorough physical and neurological examination that allows the specialist to go in the right direction, in order to arrive at an adequate diagnosis about the headache that afflicts the patient.
Vascular problems and bleeding in the brain often cause an intense headache. Among the most frequent we find:
Arteriovenous malformation: abnormal connection between the arteries and veins in the brain, which is usually formed before birth.
Stroke : An anomaly that causes the arrest of blood flow to part of the brain.
Brain aneurysm : A problem that arises when a blood vessel breaks and bleeds inside the brain.
Subarachnoid hemorrhage: bleeding that originates in the area between the brain and the thin tissue that covers it.
Other causes of headache that a healthcare provider should examine immediately include:
High blood pressure
Accumulation of fluid inside the skull that causes brain swelling (hydrocephalus)
Accumulation of pressure inside the skull that appears to be a tumor, even if it is not (pseudotumor cerebri)
Carbon monoxide poisoning
Infection in the brain or surrounding tissue, as well as a brain abscess
A swollen, inflamed artery that supplies blood to part of the head, temple, and neck area (temporal arteritis)
When to call the doctor?
If you can not see your doctor immediately, go to the emergency room or call the local emergency number (ECU911) if:
It is the first severe headache you have had in your life and it interferes with your daily activities.
It gives you a headache right after activities such as jogging, lifting weights, doing aerobics or having sex.
Your headache appears suddenly and is explosive or violent.
Your headache is the “worst I’ve ever felt,” even if you regularly suffer with them.
If you have poor articulation of speech, a change in vision, problems moving your arms or legs, loss of balance, confusion or loss of memory along with headache discomfort.
If your headache gets worse for a period of 24 hours.
If you experience fever, stiff neck, nausea and vomiting along with your headache.
If your headache is severe and occurs with redness in one of your eyes.
See your specialist soon if you notice that:
Your headache occurs with a head injury.
The intense headaches awaken him during his rest.
Your headache lasts more than three days.
Headaches are more severe in the morning.
You have a history of headaches but these have changed in pattern or intensity.
He has headaches frequently and there is no known apparent cause.
He just started having headaches, especially if you are over 50 years old.
You have headaches along with vision problems, if you have pain when chewing or you register unusual weight loss.
He has a history of cancer and has a new headache.
Your immune system has been weakened by a disease (such as an HIV infection) or by taking medicines.
Do you have a diagnosis of brain injury? Do you urgently need a second opinion? Consult our experts at the Gamma Knife Center and schedule an appointment as soon as possible that will allow you to get a glimpse of your treatment.