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Does Your Headache Warrant a Visit to the Emergency Room?

Most people experience headaches from time to time. While having a headache isn’t fun, typically it will run its course and be over and done with. So, what happens if your headache feels particularly strong, is causing a fair amount of pain, or it seems like it isn’t just running its course? How do you know when your headache is more than just an annoyance and, in fact, warrants a visit to the emergency room?

While you may not think that a headache is something severe enough to visit the emergency room, in reality, it’s one of the most common reasons people head there. Chronic migraines are something that medical professionals deal with on a very regular basis.

Here, we’ll take a look at some common signs to watch for with your headache that may prompt you to go ahead and make a trip to the emergency room and get checked out.

A Headache Accompanied by a Fever and Stiff Neck

When you have a headache, you can feel pretty miserable, but it’s important to watch for signs of a fever and a stiff neck. If you have these symptoms, it can point to inflammation of the central nervous system and could even be meningitis. It’s best to get checked out in order to rule things out. Ideally, you should visit an emergency physician as soon as these symptoms start to present themselves because it can become pretty serious rather fast.

Pain That Is Much Greater Than Normal

While there will always be pain associated with a headache, typically, people are familiar with what a regular amount of pain feels like. If your headache is causing pain that is way worse than you’ve ever had before, then it’s worth making the trip to the emergency room. While it may just end up being a really bad headache, extreme pain can point to other medical issues that are much more serious and need immediate attention.

Unusual or New Symptoms

Perhaps you get headaches on a fairly regular basis, if that’s the case, you want to watch for unusual or new symptoms that you don’t usually get with your headache. You will know best what is new or different.

Any Signs of Neurological Problems

If you start to experience signs of neurological problems such as blurred vision, slurred speech, numbing, or weakness, you will need to make a visit to the emergency room right away.

Extreme Nausea and Vomiting

Another sign that it’s time to seek medical treatment is if your headache is accompanied by extreme nausea and vomiting.

A Painful Headache That Has Lasted Days

Finally, watch for headaches that last for several days without letting up.

When In Doubt Get Checked Out

The general rule of thumb when it comes to headaches is that when in doubt, get checked out. It may just be that you have an unusually stubborn headache, but if it’s more than that, at least doctors will be able to respond in a timely manner and figure out the best course of treatment.

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