When To Consult A Doctor About Headaches


When should you consult a doctor about your
headaches? When evaluating a patient for headache in general, we look for certain warning signs
or red flags in the history, and on the physical examination. Typical red flags that would make me as a
neurologist worry would include things such as the headache being associated with fever
or stiffness of the neck or body pains or joint aches which would make me think that
the headache is a manifestation of some other illness like an infection such as meningitis
in worrisome condition. Other indications would be if the headache
were associated with some neurologic defects, numbness on one side of the body, weakness
on one side of the body, difficulty with speech or understanding what is being said to the
patient or difficulty in vision or eyesight. Again, that would make me worry of a neurologic
complication. The headache might be the manifestation of a stroke or were still a brain tumor. Also,
how did the headaches occur? Headaches that have their onset with coughing, straining,
exercise like weightlifting or sexual activity could be a worrisome indication. It might mean that in fact the headache is
a manifestation of a bleed into the brain, hemorrhagic stroke, or an aneurysm that is
ruptured. Alternatively those same things causing headache could be the result of a
brain tumor in the back of the head that interferes with the pathways of the cerebrospinal fluid. Also at what age did the headache begin? Headaches
that start after age 50 for the first time are worrisome. As we get older, we are more
likely to have other medical conditions, brain tumors, inflammations of the arteries, a condition
known as Giant-cell arteritis, which causes headaches only after the age of 50 with associated
jaw pain, tenderness of the scalp, and as untreated blindness. Brain tumors are also more likely or metastasis
from other tumors to the brain are more likely after the age of 50. So the age of onset is
a red flag for us. Also lastly, a change in the pattern of headaches, so even if you had
a longstanding history of headaches, but the headache should coming to me with now are
different than your usual headaches. They have a different quality to the pain.
They have a different location. That would make want to investigate further. And then
the last reason which is not necessarily a dangerous reason, but a red flag being the
headaches are interfering with your life. You are having trouble going to work, going
to school, taking care of your family, they are so frequent or so disabling that you just
cannot function normally, you need to go to your physician to get appropriate treatment
for these headaches.

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Comments

  1. I have a headache almost everyday after school or work it's dull and I don't have any symptoms you described. But iv had a headache for about 2 days now but it doesn't hurt.

  2. I get headaches that make every sound around me ring in my ears even the smallest noise. I also got 2 lumps that are tender and is starting to become painful. these lumps just appeared a couple of days ago and is starting to make my headaches even worse to the point it effects my vision and hearing.

  3. I've had really awful migraines throughout my high school years so bad I had to lay in a dark silent room until it went away on its own. Most medicines would not work for me so I had to let it relieve itself on it's own. Just recently they started back up again. I was in class and fell asleep for a few minutes and when I woke up my vision was completely blurred and it stayed like that for a good thirty minutes. The next day I became increasingly dizzy and had to have someone drive me home because the road started spinning. I'm afraid there is something really wrong

  4. Hi! I'm really worried because I've been having these weird symptoms: word searching-vision episodes where things will either go completely blurry or totally black on and off -worst migraine ever in right side of head (been going on for 26 days but got worse last night pain 9.5/10) pain is worse in morning, when lying down, and when move my head-exhaustion! -clumsiness (more than normal) -on/off clinginess (going from normal to childish) -mood swings -overall feeling different/weird -forgetting everything -nausea -upper back pain on right side where shoulder bone is (not sure if related) -bruising easily(not sure if related) -left side going numb on and off -waking up due to pain and nausea -meds not helping head -hair coming out -bleeding taking longer to stop -low grade fevers -pimple started 3 days before headache and still here (not sure if related) -not hungry -weakness all over -occasional slurred speech -confusion -a jittery dizziness
    PLEASE HELP!!!!!

  5. Ive had a dull headache for 3 days and i used to have to have glasses after consulting my doctor but i dont need them anymore but i still get very bad headaches that last quite a while

  6. Im 30 mother of 4 and I've had headaches since 6 months ago I've also had sinus. But lately my headaches are all day everyday with numbness on head and nausea and it's weird that I get diarrhea out of the blue and then I'm ok then again diarrhea. It's weird I don't even Know what I have. I just don't want to die. I had an uncle that died of brain tumor.😮

  7. I’m looking for a good neurosurgeon that’s close to my area. Ohio i been to Cleveland Clinic and went to the laser spine institute. I need help I’m living with sever pain in my back. I have a tumor on l4 l 5 I can’t walk. I have tried walking but my legs just won’t move very good. The pain brings tears to my eyes. I get a shock if I move the wrong way. Anyone have any suggestions who I can check into.

  8. I had a tumor behind my right eye 23 years ago. It was a neurofibroma. But the Drs said it was as dangerous as cancer because of the location and the way it was growing. My grandson has nf also and he has a couple inoperable brain tumors in the brain stem. He gets MRIs every 6 months. Right now he’s doing good. He does get headaches once in awhile. But some and meds helps.

  9. I am having headache from continually 3 to 5 day at spacific time of a day usally at my university timing and i am also sinus i am really worried. Can any one please consult me . I am planning to visit a doctor this weekend.

  10. Ive had like 5 strokes this year. I get PULSING headaches atleast 10 times a day and The last one of the day is always the worst lasting about 6 hours long every night along with an intense bleeding nose and aching jaw and numbness to my left arm and leg and down my spine sometimes. Im just searching headaches on youtube and this stuff was most likely made to scare us I think my body can handle it Ill see a doctor If i somehow cant manage to wake up out of the stroke and snap out of it Doctors cant do nothing for you

  11. I am 16 yes old and I have headache from last 2months continue . I have consult for doctors also but still I am having headache what is the problem for me plz reply it

  12. I'm in middle school and for the past three days I've had sort of cluster headaches sometimes they're throbbing and painful sometimes they're dull and I hardly notice them and when I'm in a very hot place they're worse I have yet to figure out what is causing these headaches but I would really like to know

  13. I get migraines every time I cough, I have given up on the doctors, they are all very useless, they don't listen, they don't understand, try this drug try that drug, nothing works, hope one day one of you useless wankers gets what I have.

  14. I went to my neurologist because I had migraines associated with stiff neck. Why doctor didn't think anything of it and she gave me a pill for inflammatory when's. She gave me a medicine for head and neck pain. Head and neck stiffness. I have a long history of migraines I was given sumatriptan and now I'm on zolmitriptan.
    But I have a pulsating spot in the back of my head that has happened last night and now I woke up with it. It's a random pulse of pain in the same spot.
    I am looking to see if this is an aneurysm or not. I took my prescription medicine for migraines and head and neck pain and it didn't work.

  15. I have had chronic painful headaches for 3 months now, causing fatigue, lack of concentration, sweating, and lack of sleep.. what should I do?

  16. I have this one spot on my head that if I press on it, it hurts and feels like a pressure headache. It also hurts in that spot when I cough, or bend over to much, I'm scared I have a tumor but I don't have insurance or the money to get a CAT scan so here is to hoping I don't die.

  17. I’m 15 and I get headaches every time I go to a trampoline place, should I be worried? I don’t eat a couple of hours before going so that may be the cause

  18. It only happens when I shake my head and it's on the left side,it has been going on for a week now easing up and getting worse I really can't feel much unless I shake my head tho

  19. there is pain in the middle of my head since yesterday and there is also pressure on left side of my head

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