Pounding, throbbing, piercing. No matter what words you choose, describing your headache to someone is tough.
But all headaches share one thing. Whether it’s the dull throb at the end of a long day or the debilitating piercing pain of a migraine, headaches simply make you miserable.
Experts say you don’t need to worry about most headaches. When one strikes, you can try to push through it. Take a pain reliever. Or reach for a cold compress, find a dark room, and wait it out.
But that doesn’t mean that every headache is normal. In fact, no matter how often you have them you shouldn’t ignore certain headache symptoms.
Headache symptoms which should send you to see the doc
If you ever experience any of following seven headache symptoms, don’t try to wait it out. Get in touch with a doctor, instead.
1. It strikes out of nowhere:
You’re fine one moment and the next BOOM you’re in excruciating pain. Thunderclap headaches strike so suddenly that some folks have even reported literally hearing a sound like a clap of thunder when it hits.
But unlike a thunderclap, the pain doesn’t fade away quickly. It sticks around.
This type of headaches could be the first indication of a brain bleed. Which is just as bad as it sounds. Call a doctor immediately or head to the emergency room if you ever experience a headache like this.
2. Headache isn’t the only symptom:
Headache pain often stands alone. But if it suddenly comes paired with other symptoms, your doctor will want to know about it. Especially if those other symptoms could be neurological in nature or point to an infection such as…
If you’re experiencing any of these headache symptoms then you may not be dealing with a run-of-the-mill headache. Share your symptoms with your doctor so he can make a proper diagnosis.
3. It feels more like EYE pain:
If your head pain actually feels more like worsening eye pain, have someone take you to the E.R. to have your eyes examined right away. Acute glaucoma could be behind the pain.
When acute glaucoma strikes, the pressure in your eyes suddenly increases. Within just a matter of hours, it can become unbearably painful. And if it isn’t treated quickly, acute glaucoma can lead to blindness. So there’s no time to waste.
4. It appears after a bump on the head:
Maybe you took a tumble. Or perhaps you forgot the cabinet door was open and BAM! No matter how you hit your head, it’s normal to experience some pain when it happens.
But if you’re on a blood thinner and develop a headache—whether it’s hours, days or even a week later—head to urgent care to get it checked out. Your bump could have caused a slow bleed inside your head called a subdural hematoma. Left untreated it could turn deadly.
5. Intense pain only at your temples:
Headache pain can occur anywhere on your head. But if you’re over fifty and the pain is very specifically focused in your temple area, it could be a sign of something more serious.
Temporal arteritis causes the arteries in your temples to become inflamed. You may also experience blurry vision or a fever.
Left untreated temporal arteritis can become very serious leading to vision loss, blood vessel damage, and even stroke. So it’s important to seek help immediately.
6. It is out of the ordinary:
You know what your headaches normally feel like. If you have one hit that just feels different from normal, then it just might be different. So go ahead and see your doctor.
And if you would describe your headache as, “the worst I’ve ever had,” don’t wait for an appointment. Head straight to the emergency room.
7. You’re new to headaches:
If you’ve never had headaches before but suddenly start, it’s worth talking with your doctor. This is especially true if you’re over 50 since it rare to start getting headache symptoms at this stage in your life. Your doctor can run some tests and figure out whether or not there’s something more serious going on.
Often a headache is nothing more than a headache. But sometimes headache symptoms can be a sign of something more serious. If you’re experiencing any of these seven serious symptoms, follow up with a doctor to be safe.
She is an advocate of self-education and is passionate about the power of group knowledge sharing, like the kind found right here on HealthierTalk.com. Alice loves to share her views on holistic and natural healing as well as her, sometimes contentious, thoughts on the profit-driven inner workings of traditional medicine.
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