When to See a Doctor
Not all headaches require a physician’s attention. But headaches can signal a more serious disorder that requires prompt medical care. Immediately call or see a doctor if you or someone you’re with experiences any of these symptoms:
- Sudden, severe headache that may be accompanied by a stiff neck.
- Severe headaches accompanied by fever, nausea or vomiting that is not related another illness.
- “First” or “worst” headache, often accompanied by confusion, weakness, double vision or loss of consciousness.
- Headache that worsens over days or weeks or has changed in pattern or behavior.
- Recurring headache in children.
- Headache following a head injury.
- Headache and a loss of sensation or weakness in any part of the body, which could be a sign of a stroke.
- Headache associated with convulsions.
- Headache associated with shortness of breath.
- Two or more headaches per week.
- Persistent headache in someone who has been previously headache-free, particularly in someone over age 50.
- New headaches in someone with a history of cancer or HIV/Aids.
-Source: National institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke