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Couple At Fall Picnic

Headache & Migraine

Headache pain can be described as dull and throbbing or sharp and localised. Each type of headache has its own characteristic symptoms. Migraine headaches differ from tension headahces in that the pain is usually restricted to one side of the head, and may be described as a throbbing pain of moderate to severe intensity.

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The majority of people experience headaches during their lifetime. For the most part, headaches are short lived, and only last for a matter of minutes or hours.

But what if the pain doesn’t go away? And what if there are additional symptoms or illness? More importantly, how can you tell when a headache is serious enough to seek medical attention?

Business Woman With Neck Ache

Headache warning signs

There are definite warning signs that signal a headache may be more serious.

If you experience any of the following symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

  • Sudden and/or severe headache accompanied by a stiff neck, fever, nausea, or vomiting

Some headaches, such as tension headache, can be accompanied by a neck pain or a tightness in the neck. But a sudden, severe headache along with a very stiff neck and a fever and/or sensitivity to light could be a sign of something more serious that requires medical attention.

  • Numbness or weakness, including slurred speech or difficulty walking

Numbness or weakness with a headache, including slurred speech or difficulty walking could be symptomatic of a more serious condition. Speak with your doctor as soon as possible.

  • Altered vision

Double, blurred vision or partial loss of vision with a headache.

  • Confusion, convulsions, or loss of consciousness

When paired with a headache, these symptoms may be warning signs of a serious illness or injury. They may occur with the onset of head pain, or after experiencing a headache. Either way, you should seek immediate medical attention.

  • Head injury

Any time a head injury results in a headache, consult a doctor right away. Head pain following a head trauma could be a sign of damage that requires immediate medical treatment.

Headaches that worsen or change their patterns over time, frequent headaches, or persistent headaches or headaches with weakness or loss of sensation in any part of the body may be a sign of a stroke. Please seek medical attention.

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Cluster Headaches

If you are suffering from cluster headaches you must seek advice from your GP.

See here for more information about different types of headaches.

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