Headaches are common and often aren’t very serious, but in some cases, a headache is a symptom of a serious medical condition that needs urgent attention
If you have any of these types of headaches it may be time to see a doctor.
The persistent headache
According to the Mayo Clinic, a headache that persists longer than 3 days should be considered a chronic headache. While many people can go many days treating a headache with over-the-counter pain killers, even the directions of use on the pain killers suggest a doctor’s visit after over 3 days of use because a headache that persists over 3 days is likely a symptom of something that cannot simply be treated by pain killers.
Severe headaches and migraines can cause flashes or temporary blindness, seeing spots or blurry vision. WebMD describes these as ocular migraines, which are rare and can be part of a serious medical problem affecting the nerves or areas in the brain.
While there could also be some comparatively benign reasons for blinding headaches, these can be diagnosed only by a medical professional while ruling out more serious illness.
Headache after a head injury
It’s natural and normal to feel pain and a headache after even mild head injuries like bumping your head. However, severe pain or pain that lasts or resurfaces after 7 days or more could be a sign that your head injury may have been more serious than you thought.
Concussions and other similar head injuries are usually accompanied by other symptoms like dizziness, nausea and sometimes ringing in the ears. According to a report produced by the TBI Model Systems in collaboration with the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center, head injuries that cause mild to severe brain injury often first manifest as a headache.
Headache with a stiff neck and a fever
A headache, fever and neck pain could be the result of a bad night or the flu. When this is the case, the symptoms (together) should only last 1 or 2 days. However, a week or more of these symptoms sound a lot like meningitis as described by spine-health.com
Meningitis is a potentially life-threatening illness that can only be diagnosed and treated by a doctor.
Headache that comes with weakness and numbness
A headache that comes with weakness, numbness, impaired vision or speech can be sudden or gradually become worse. This type of headache is not common and according to healthline.com could be the first sign of a stroke and should be taken very seriously.
While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.