When should you worry about a Headache?

When should you worry about a Headache?

When should you worry about a headache? All you know that how much annoying the headache is! Almost everyone has had headaches, and most of us have had headaches many times.

Mild headaches are nothing more than an annoyance, which can be relieved with over-the-counter pain relievers, some food or coffee, or a short break.

However, if your headache is severe or unusual, you may worry about stroke, tumor, or blood clots. Fortunately, these problems are rare. Still, you need know when should you worry about a headache?

What is Headache?

Headache is described as an ache arising from the head or higher neck of the body.  Pain originates from the tissues and structures around the skull or brain because the brain itself does not have painful nerves (pain fibers).

The thin layer of tissue (periosteum) that surrounds the bones, the muscles that line the skull, sinuses, eyes, and ears, and the thin tissue (meninges) that covers the surface of the brain and spinal cord, veins, arteries, and nerves.

They all become inflamed or irritated and cause headaches. Pain can be dull, sharp, stinging, continuous, intermittent, mild, or severe.

How do you classify headaches?

In 2013, the International Headache Society launched its contemporary classification system for headaches. Because so many humans go through headaches, and due to the fact remedy is tough sometimes, the Headache Society hoped that the new classification system would assist the specialists to make an extra particular analysis as to the kind of headache an affected person has, and permit higher and extra superb alternatives for treatment.

The suggestions are extensive, and the Headache Society recommends that specialists seek advice from the suggestions regularly to make sure of the diagnosis.

There are three predominant classes of headaches primarily based upon the source of the pain:

  1. The Primary Headaches
  2. The Secondary Headaches
  3. Cranial Neuralgias, Other Facial Pains, and Other Headaches.

The guidelines also point out that the patient’s symptoms may be consistent with more than one type of headache, and more than one type of headache may occur at the same time.

The Primary Headaches

  1. Tension-type of headache
  2. Migraine
  3. Trigeminal autonomic cephalgia
  4. Other primary headache disorders

The Secondary Headaches

  1. Trauma or injury to the head, or neck
  2. Cranial or cervical vascular disease
  3. Nonvascular intracranial disorder
  4. A substance or its withdrawal
  5. Disorder of homeostasis
  6. Infection
  7. Disorder of the cranium, eyes, ears, ears, nose, sinuses, mouth, teeth, or other facial or cervical structure
  8. Psychiatric disorder

Cranial Neuralgias, Other Facial Pains, and Other Headaches

  1. Painful cranial neuropathies and other facial pain
  2. Other headache disorders

What are the main causes of Headache?

The pain you feel when you have a headache comes from a combination of signals between the brain, blood vessels, and nearby nerves. Certain nerves in the blood vessels and muscles of the head are activated and send pain signals to the brain. But it is not clear how these signals were triggered in the first place.

The main cause of headache may be genetic, due to an illness, or stress.

Genetics: Headaches, especially migraines, often occur due to your family history. Most children and adolescents with migraines (90%) have other family members who also suffer from migraines. If both parents have a history of migraines, then your child has a 70% chance. If only one parent had a history of these headaches, the risk would drop to 25%-50%.

Illness: This can happen due to infections, colds, and fevers.  Headaches are also common in conditions such as sinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses), throat infections, or ear infections. In some cases, the headache may be the result of a blow to the head or, in rare cases, a sign of a more serious medical problem.

Stress: Emotional stress and depression, as well as drinking, skipping meals, changing sleep patterns, and taking too much medication. Due to poor posture neck or back strain may be the other possible causes.

Environment: Including second-hand tobacco smoke, strong odors from perfume or household chemicals, allergens, and certain foods. Stress, noise, lighting, pollution, and weather changes are other possible triggers.

What are the most common types of Headache?

The most common type of headaches are-

  1. Tension type of headache
  2. Migraine headache
  3. Cluster headache
  4. Sinus headache
  5. Posttraumatic headache

Tension type of Headache

Tension-type headaches are more common, with a lifetime prevalence of up to 80% in the general population.

Tension-type headache is a mild to moderate bilateral dull pain with no significant related features and can be classified as rare, frequent or chronic. It is easy to distinguish from migraine.

Rare tension-type headaches are considered to be a form of headache that almost everyone has experienced and usually does not require medical treatment.

Although there may be genetic factors in the development of tension-type headaches, environmental factors may play a more important role than migraines.

Muscle tenderness around the skull, coexisting mood disorders, and mechanical disorders of the spine and neck may be contributing factors.

Management of preventive and abortion drugs can be considered, depending on frequency and disability.

Simple and compound over-the-counter pain relievers containing caffeine have been proven effective.

Preventive agents include tricyclic antidepressants and various muscle relaxants.

Migraine Headache

According to the 2010 Global Burden of Disease Survey, migraine is the third most common disease and the seventh most common cause of disability in the world.

It is usually described as tingling, tingling. Migraine can last from 4 hours to 3 days and usually occur one to four times a month.

In addition to pain, people have other symptoms, such as sensitivity to light, noise, or smell; nausea or vomiting; loss of appetite; and upset stomach or belly pain.

When children suffer from migraines, they may become pale, dizzy, blurred vision, fever, and stomach upset.

A small number of children with migraines include digestive symptoms, such as vomiting, which occur approximately once a month.

Cluster Headache

Cluster headaches, usually called “suicidal headaches” due to the intensity of the pain, are more common in men, are usually sporadic, and are characterized by “cluster” lasting for 2 weeks to 3 months.

The pain is extremely severe, occurring 1 to 8 times a day, and often wakes up soon after falling asleep.

There may be severe pain or tingling behind or around one of your eyes. It can be throbbing or continuous.

It is characterized as an episode of severe unilateral orbital pain lasting 15 minutes to 3 hours, usually associated with ipsilateral autonomic symptoms (increased tearing, nasal congestion/discharge, partial horns) and characteristic irritability.

Although significant changes have been reported, cluster events tend to recur at about the same time each year.

Sinus Headache

When you have a sinus headache, you will feel constant pain in your cheekbones, forehead or deep in the bridge of your nose.

They occur when the cavity of the head called the sinuses becomes inflamed. Pain is usually accompanied by other sinus symptoms, such as a runny nose, full ears, fever, and facial swelling.

True sinus headache is the result of sinus infection, so the mucus coming out of the nose will be yellow or green, which is different from the clear fluid in cluster headaches or migraines.

Posttraumatic Headache

Post-traumatic stress headaches usually start 2-3 days after the head injury. You will feel dull pain that gets worse from time to time, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, memory problems, fast fatigue, irritability, headaches that can last for months. However, if it does not improve within a few weeks, call your doctor.

What are the less common types of Headache?

The less common types of Headaches are-

  1.  New daily persistent headache
  2. Exercise Headache
  3. Hormone Headache
  4. Rebound Headache

New daily persistent Headache

This is an unusual and unique headache pattern. It was first described in 1986 and is generally not well known outside of headache medicine.

Headaches can start with viral infections and are more common in women. Patients can usually remember the exact date when the headache started.

Extensive evaluation of multiple patients found no clear cause, and headaches are currently classified as primary headaches.

The treatment plan has been announced, although the general experience is that the headache pattern is relatively difficult to treat.

Exercise Headache

When you are active or you will perform any kind of exercise, your head, neck, and scalp need more blood. Your blood vessels will swell to supply them.

The result is that throbbing pain on both sides of the head can last from 5 minutes to 48 hours.

Whether the activity is exercise or sex, it usually hits you during or immediately after the activity.

Hormone Headache

You may have headaches due to changes in hormone levels during menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause.

Hormonal changes caused by birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy can also cause headaches.

If they occur 2 days before or 3 days after the start of menstruation, they are called menstrual migraine.

Rebound Headache

You may also hear these so-called drug abuse headaches. If you use over-the-counter or prescription pain medication more than 2 to 3 times a week, or more than 10 days a month, you will be prepared for more pain.

When the effect of the drug disappears, the pain will return, and you must take more measures to stop the pain. This can cause persistent, dull headaches, which are usually worse in the morning.

What are the rare types of Headache?

The rare type of headaches are-

  1. Thunderclap Headache
  2. Stimulus-Induced Headache/ Ice pack Headache
  3. Spinal Headache

Thunderclap Headache

This may be the most sudden onset, reaching maximum intensity and severe headache within 1 minute.

Although there may not be an underlying cause in some patients, structural/medical pathology should always be ruled out in a timely manner.

Currently, Thunderclap headaches can be primary (benign or idiopathic) or secondary.

Examples of secondary causes are reversible cerebral vasospasm, subarachnoid hemorrhage, venous sinus thrombosis, hypertensive encephalopathy, and pituitary apoplexy.

Stimulus-Induced Headache/ Ice pack Headache

Several types of primary headaches are classified according to their relationship to specific triggers. These include headaches caused by exposure to cold, such as those commonly described with ice cream, headaches related to external cranial pressure or traction (example: ponytail headache), or headaches related to various forms of effort.

Spinal Headache

If you have head pain after a lumbar puncture, spinal block or epidural anesthesia, please consult your doctor. Your doctor may call this a puncture headache because these procedures involve piercing the membrane around the spinal cord. If the cerebrospinal fluid leaks from the puncture site, it can cause headaches.

When should you worry about a headache?

You can treat many types of headaches yourself, and your doctor can prescribe medications to control the most severe headaches. But some headaches require immediate medical attention. Here are some warning signs when should you worry about a headache?

  • Sudden and very severe headache (thunderclap headache)
  • Severe or sharp headache pain first developed
  • Stiff neck and fever
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever over 102-104 °F  
  • Nosebleed
  • Dizziness or loss of balance
  • Fainting
  • Pain that wakes you from sleep
  • Pressure on the back of the head
  • Pain worsens when changing position
  • Blurred vision or double vision
  • Facial tingling and halo lasting for more than an hour
  • Confusion or difficulty in understanding speech
  • Slurred or confused speech
  • Drooping face on one side
  • Weakness on one side
  • Difficulty walking
  • Hearing problems
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Pain that begins after coughing, sneezing, or any form of effort
  • Constant pain in the same area of   the head
  • Seizures
  • Night sweats
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Tenderness or pain in the head
  • A blow or injury to the head
  • Swelling of the face or head
  • An animal bite on any part of the body

How to diagnosis headache?

If you have headaches and need to worry about it, your doctor may tell you to do different tests and ask you to see a neurologist. Neurologists are experts in the nervous system and brain. Some common tests are:

  • MRI
  • CT Scan
  • EEG
  • Blood Test
  • Ear test
  • Medical history
  • Physical exam
  • Spinal Fluid Test

If you suffer from heatstroke or dehydration, your doctor may need to give you IV treatment.

When should you worry about a headache: The Most Serious Symptoms?

Above we have already learned about “When should you worry about a headache”. But now we will see the most serious symptoms of headache you should worry about.

Recurring Headache

Chronic headache is defined as a headache that occurs 15 days or more per month for more than three months. They can disrupt your daily life and are difficult to deal with without medical advice.

If you often have headaches two or more times a week, and these symptoms interfere with your daily activities, consult a doctor. There are many possible root causes. These range from simple tension headaches to serious brain problems.

Your physician will be capable of identifying the most probable cause and the best course of treatment. They will help you determine the cause of the headache and change your daily routine to reduce your symptoms.

Persistent Headache

A prolonged headache can be a painful experience, usually leading to missed days at work or school. However, it usually does not cause an alarm by itself.

Although persistent headache does not automatically indicate a serious underlying disease, it may be an indicator of headache disease.

If your headache persists for more than a week, you should seek professional advice.

If you experience dysfunction in your daily life or have to take medication regularly to control pain, please consult your doctor.

Intense Pain

If you describe a headache as the worst headache in your life, you should seek medical help immediately.

Sudden severe headaches (often called thunderclap headaches) are not always serious, but they can be a sign of a life-threatening illness.

A sudden severe headache may indicate a cerebral aneurysm or bleeding. Other signs are blurred vision, loss of consciousness, and seizures.

Untreated aneurysms can lead to coma or death. Only about 10% of thunderclap headaches are caused by bleeding in the brain, but seek medical attention immediately.

The doctor may suggest a CT scan to rule out the aneurysm or treat it as needed.

Headache after blow your head

Head accidents ought to continually be evaluated by a clinical professional. Even if the damage seems minor, they should rule out any serious damage that may not be immediately obvious.

The headache after a blow to the head may not be serious, but it may indicate that you have suffered a concussion or other brain injury. In this case, tests and scans should be performed to determine the severity.

Symptoms of concussion include loss of consciousness, dizziness, nausea, and confusion. If you suspect someone has a concussion, take them to the emergency room immediately.

If you are the affected person, please ask someone to drive you. Don’t drive by yourself. Within a few months after the initial injury, you may experience symptoms such as headaches and difficulty concentrating. These symptoms usually disappear with time and rest, but they need to be managed. Your doctor can help you manage these symptoms.

Change in personality or mental function

If you or someone else has severe headaches, confusion, weakness, or loss of coordination, seek emergency medical help immediately.

Because these symptoms may be warning signs of a stroke, which should need emergency steps. Knowing the symptoms and signs of a stroke will assist you to recognize what to look for.

If someone has difficulty walking and speaking, or if they have difficulty speaking, please take them to the emergency room immediately.

An untreated stroke can cause irreversible damage to the brain. Your doctor will be able to conduct an emergency evaluation.

Headache with Nausea and Vomiting

It is not uncommon to have nausea and vomiting with severe headaches occasionally, especially if you have a migraine.

Migraines are usually associated with symptoms such as visual disturbances and dizziness, which can cause nausea and vomiting.

These symptoms are unpleasant and sometimes debilitating, but they are usually not life-threatening and will disappear with time and treatment.

If you often vomit for more than one or two days, it is best to seek medical attention. Constant vomiting can lead to dehydration, which can lead to serious complications.

What are the home remedies for Headache?

Although many medicines are designed to relieve headache symptoms, there are also several effective natural remedies. Here are 18 effective home remedies to get rid of headaches naturally at home.

  1. Drink Water
  2. Limit Alcohol
  3. Take some Magnesium
  4. Get adequate sleep
  5. Avoid high  histamine containing foods
  6. Use essential oils
  7. Try a B complex vitamin
  8. Soothe the pain with a cold compress
  9. Consider Taking Coenzyme Q10
  10. Try an Elimination Diet
  11. Drink Caffeinated Tea or Coffee
  12. Try Acupuncture
  13. Relax with Yoga
  14. Avoid Strong Smells
  15. Try an Herbal Remedy
  16. Avoid Nitrates and Nitrites
  17. Sip Some Ginger Tea
  18. Get Some Exercise


Does the location of a headache mean anything?

This usually indicates a tension-type of headache, which is the most common primary headache disorder. However, it is important to note that sometimes migraines can be full-cranial. This means that the pain around the head can be felt, not just on one side.

When should you go to the doctor for a headache?

If you are experiencing the worst headache ever, loss of vision or consciousness, uncontrollable vomiting, or if your headache lasts more than 72 hours and the painless time is less than 4 hours, seek immediate medical attention.

What does a stroke headache feel like?

People often describe a stroke headache as the “worst thing in my life”, or it looks like a “thunderclap” -a very severe headache that occurs in seconds or minutes. The pain usually does not sting or develop gradually like a migraine. On the contrary, it will be hit hard.

What does it mean when you wake up with headaches every day?

In a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the most important factors for chronic morning headaches are anxiety and depression. Mental health conditions can additionally reason insomnia, which can, in addition, amplify the danger of morning headaches.

How many types of headaches are there?

The International Headache Association has identified more than 150 different types of headaches! They are divided into three categories: primary, secondary, and other.

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