We will all had a least one headache during our lifetime, with most of us having multiple episodes. Usually Tylenol or ibuprofen paired with rest, massage, ice or heat will generally help relieve our symptoms. Sometimes, such as with a migraine, we will need to take a prescription medication to find relief. However, there are four types of headaches that are serious, and their warning signs and symptoms should not be ignored. Prompt medical attention is warranted in these cases:
- Any headache accompanied by a FEVER (100.4F orally or higher), especially if paired with severe neck pain, light sensitivity and/or “being out of it”, suggests a brain infection such as encephalitis or meningitis.
- A sudden “WORST headache of my life”, often accompanied by neck stiffness/pain, paralysis, dizziness, loss of consciousness and/or balance, is frequently due to a sudden bleed in the brain.
- A headache that LASTS MORE THAN A FEW DAYS without ANY relief, including upon arising in the morning, and generally accompanied by dizziness, loss of balance and/or visual changes, suggests a brain tumor or increased spinal fluid pressure.
- A sudden headache due to a HEAD INJURY and accompanied by incoherence, unequal pupils, sleepiness, clear fluid from the ears or nose and/or blood behind the eardrums indicates a severe brain injury.
Do not delay in getting medical help if you or a loved one shows any of these signs or symptoms of a severe, life-threatening headache.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, you may contact our office at 208-772-5204. If you found this article helpful, click here to subscribe to our monthly newsletter.