While an excruciating migraine could make you wish you were dead, most headaches aren’t really life threatening. But a terrible headache could indicate something more severe, which would require immediate attention—meningitis, aneurysm, and stroke. And although these aren’t actually common, it’s better to pay attention to a headache that you feel is not normal for you.
Signs That Your Headache Requires Emergency Attention
According to a doctor in a private hospital in Kent, if you can’t see your doctor immediately, dial 999 or haul yourself to nearest emergency department if you’re experiencing these symptoms:
- Fever and neck pain. These could indicate meningitis, a critical condition in which membranes that surround your CNS or central nervous system are inflamed.
- Excessive vomiting or nausea, as well as difficulty walking or talking could indicate a stroke.
- The worst headache you’ve ever had. This could be indicative of brain aneurysm, a potentially life-threatening condition, that’s starting to leak blood.
- You experience your first severe headache ever and can’t attend to your daily tasks.
- A headache following intense activities like aerobics, jogging, weightlifting, and sex.
- A sudden, intense, and violent headache.
- A headache accompanied by vision and speech problems, mobility and balance issues, memory loss, and confusion.
- A headache that persists and worsen in the course of 24 hours.
- A headache following an injury to the head.
- A pounding headache and redness in only one eye.
- A headache along with unexplained weight loss or pain during chewing and vision issues.
- You’re a cancer survivor and start getting regular headaches.
- You’ve just begun experiencing headaches, most especially if you’re over 50 years old.
Once you get to the emergency department, expect to undergo several tests that will be used to determine the cause of your headache. Know that doctors would rather have you come into the hospital even if your headache turns out to be a simple migraine, than miss the chance to do something that could potentially save your life.