Nearly everyone has a headache now and then. Most of the time, relief is just an over-the-counter pill away. Other times, learning ways to relax and relieve tension, or getting treatment for sinus infections can get rid of your headaches.
Sometimes, though, headaches can warn of a serious health issue. High blood pressure, a stroke, a brain tumor, carbon monoxide poisoning, infections, a concussion and more could be linked to your headaches.
That's why it's important to know when to take action. Don't try to diagnose the problem. Contact your doctor or go to the emergency department and let the professionals figure it out.
Medical experts say you should consider it a headache emergency, worthy of a 911 call, if:
You also have reason for concern if:
Some headache situations might not warrant a 911 call but still merit a visit with your doctor.
That's the case if headaches wake you up from sleep, or they're worse in the morning. Another reason for checking in with your doctor: If a headache lingers for days or has no apparent cause, like tension or dehydration.
Even if you get headaches regularly, talk to your doctor if the usual pattern of your headaches -- especially their intensity -- changes.
Harvard Medical School has more information on headaches.
Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.
This content is intended for informational purposes only. It should not replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you think you have a medical emergency, call 911 or your doctor immediately.