January 21, 2019
Headaches: When to Seek Immediate Medical Attention

Headaches: When to Seek Immediate Medical Attention

by Berkeley Wellness  

People who suffer from migraines or cluster headaches should consult a health care provider about treatment. In addition, in a small number of cases, severe headaches may be a warning sign of a serious disorder, such as a dangerous infection, a stroke, or even a brain tumor or aneurysm.

Get immediate medical attention for the following:

  • The sudden onset of an unusually severe headache, especially if it’s the “worst one ever,” you never had a severe one before, or you are over 50.
  • A severe headache with a fever or stiff neck.
  • A headache following a head injury. (Even if the injury occurred weeks or months earlier, you should consult a doctor.)
  • A headache accompanied by altered mental status (such as confusion), loss of consciousness, numbness or weakness on one side of your body or face, difficulty speaking, or vision disturbance (other than an aura).
  • A severe headache during or immediately after physical exertion, including sexual intercourse, if you never had one before.
  • If you are immunosuppressed and have a new onset of headaches.