When to See a Physician for Your Headache

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There are times when headaches or uncharacteristic migraine symptoms are indications of something that needs medical attention. Some individuals are reluctant to call their doctors or go to an Emergency Department because they don’t want to arrive only to learn that nothing out of the ordinary is wrong. Please, don’t be concerned about that; get medical attention if you think you fit the following criteria.

  • You have more than the occasional headache
  • Your headaches are severe or come on quickly
  • Your headache is accompanied by any of the following:
    (And you have not discussed these symptoms with your doctor before)
    ο  Confusion
    ο  Dizziness
    ο  Fever
    ο  Numbness
    ο  Persistent vomiting
    ο  Shortness of breath
    ο  Slurred speech
    ο  Stiff neck
    ο  Unpredicted symptoms affecting your ears, nose, throat or eyes
    ο  Unrelenting diarrhea
    ο  Vision loss
    ο  Weakness
  • Your have a headache that persists, and continues to get worse or won’t stop
  • Your headaches interfere with your normal activities of daily life
  • You find yourself taking pain relievers more than two days a week
  • You take over-the-counter medications for headache relief but the recommended dosage is not adequate
  • Coughing, sneezing, bending over, exercise or sexual activity cause headaches
  • You have headaches that continue and that began after a head injury, or other trauma
  • The characteristics of your headaches change
  • The symptoms of your migraine attacks change