Headaches are common. According to statistics, headaches are among the common symptoms that human’s experience. There are millions of people that are affected by headaches annually, if not billions. Some of these people also end up experiencing migraines.
Although headaches are common, if you have a headache and it’s severe and sudden, you need to worry that there might be a serious underlying issue. So, how will you know that you can treat the headache at home or whether you should seek medical attention from a doctor?
We’ll look into the definition of a headache. Also, we’ll talk about how you can treat the headache at home and instances whereby you need to seek medical attention. Also, we’ll look into signs why headache can be dangerous.
What’s a Headache?
Any pain in your head, neck, or face area can be termed as a headache. The headaches mostly come about because of nerve pain, muscle tension, or dehydration. It can also be a symptom of other illnesses or brought by a particular medication, drinks, or food.
There are two types of headaches, namely secondary and primary. The primary headaches are the most common ones, and they usually come about without any underlying injury or illness. Primary headaches include migraines, cluster headaches, or tension headaches. On the other hand, secondary headaches are caused by hormonal changes, tooth inflammation, an existing illness, sinus, or side effects of drugs or medication prescribed by a doctor.
Headache Symptoms You’re Supposed to Worry About
A headache usually causes pain in the face, neck, or head area. If the headache is severe, you need to seek medical attention instantly. The headache is a sign of a health condition or an underlying illness.
The headache is serious if you’re experiencing any of the following:
- Fever and a stiff neck
- Very intense and sudden headache
- High fever
- Sharp or severe headache pain
- Vomiting and nausea
- Loss of balance or dizziness
- A nosebleed
- Hearing issues
- Pain that makes it hard to sleep
What Causes Serious Headaches?
A normal headache will come about because of muscle tension, dehydration, fever, nerve pain, drinking alcohol, consuming specific foods, or caffeine withdrawal. The cause of a severe headache include; hormonal changes, a toothache, side effects of medicine, or pregnancy.
The migraine pain usually comes all of a sudden, and it can be debilitating or severe. For those with chronic migraines, you should seek medical attention, and the doctor will look into the most suitable way to manage the pain.
The symptoms of the headaches include:
- Gum or tooth infection
- Severe dehydration
- High blood pressure
- Concussion or head injury
- Brain tumor
- Brain hemorrhage
When Should You Seek Emergency Care?
Dial 911 if you’re experiencing a headache and it’s a medical emergency. Life-threatening and serious illnesses responsible for headaches will require urgent medical attention, and they include:
People with head injuries can experience a concussion. In this case, it is important to seek medical attention if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Double vision or blurred vision
- Vomiting or nausea
- Feeling sluggish
- Your reaction time is slower
- Balance issues
If you’re pregnant during the third trimester, you’ll have preeclampsia symptoms. Such health complications result in high blood pressure. Also, you’ll suffer from kidney and liver damage, among other serious issues. Preeclampsia will start when you’re 20 weeks pregnant.
High blood pressure affects less than 10 percent of pregnant women regardless of whether they’re healthy. It is one of the leading causes of illness and death in newborn babies and mothers.
You should seek urgent medical attention for pregnant women, and some of the symptoms you’ll have include:
- Stomach pain
- Vomiting and nausea
- Difficulty breathing
- Blurred vision
- Burning pain in the chest cavity
- Anxiety or confusion
In most cases, a stroke will happen because the blood flow to the brain has been blocked. Fortunately, a stroke can be treated and prevented. Proper medical attention is highly recommended. If you happen to experience the symptoms of a stroke, contact 911 immediately. Also, you should not drive since you may lose control and end up in a car accident.
What Should You Do If You Have Stroke Symptoms?
For those having a stroke or know someone else experiencing a stroke, you should act fast if:
- Your face drops on one side as you smile
- You’re unable to raise your arms above your head
- Your speech is slurry
- You have stroke symptoms. If you’re treated on time, your chances of recovering from a stroke are high. Treatment should be administered within three hours from when you started to experience the stroke symptoms.
In warm weather, you may end up overheating. When you exercise excessively, you may also end up overheating and, in turn, experience a heatstroke. If you notice you’re likely to suffer from a heat stroke, you can move into a space that is air-conditioned. You can also take cool water or put on damp clothes.
Heatstroke signs include:
- Dry skin
- Muscle crampsDifficulty walking
- Red or pale skin
- Fast heart rate
- Fast breathing
- Seizures or fainting
How Do You Treat a Serious Headache?
The medic will first determine the underlying cause of the headache. In extreme cases, there is the need to consult a neurologist. Some scans and tests may need to be carried out to determine the specific cause of the headache.
Some of the tests the medic will recommend include:
- Eye exam
- Physical exam and medical history
- Blood test
- Ear exam
- CT scan
- Spinal fluid test
- MRI scan
Heatstroke and severe dehydration can only be treated using intravenous fluids that are administered using a needle. For those with high blood pressure, the doctor will prescribe daily medication.
There are instances whereby you don’t have to worry about headache pain. The causes of some headaches aren’t as serious. In some cases, the headache pain might be because of a serious illness or health condition. If your headache is severe, don’t fail to seek medical attention.