7 Signs That Your Headache Is Not OK

Date July 25, 2018

A headache, like nearly any other pain, can be rather tricky. As people differ, so does their perception. A headache that one person would call "terrible" can feel mild to someone else.

Today, we present to you what we found out from an interview with a Doctor of Medicine, a clinical professor at the University of California - Mark Morocco.

Mark Morocco recommends to consult a doctor if you never had headaches before, but now you do. He also points out that brain tumors aren’t usually accompanied with headaches, even though people tend to suspect the worst.

Here is what you need to know.

1. Headaches appear out of the blue

Roman Samborskyi /

When all of a sudden you feel severe pain — this is serious. Morocco, M.D., says it could be a “subarachnoid hemorrhage” – bleeding within the subarachnoid cavity, which can be caused, for example, by a leaking aneurysm.

That's a dangerous headache, and you need to call 9-1-1 or have someone take you to the hospital. To be clear, this isn't a sharp pain that recedes in a matter of seconds or minutes. It won't go away quickly. But you don't want to make the mistake of taking heavy pain pills and going to sleep.

2. A headache changes its tune

Maridav /

One way to think about it is, if the quality of your headaches were a song, is this the same song but with the volume turned up higher?

Morocco says it’s OK, if the answer is yes. But if the type of a headache has changed, this could be a reason to worry. In this case, seek medical help.

READ ALSO: Migraine Vs. Headache: What Is The Difference?

Again, it may indicate an aneurysm or other emergency medical condition.

3. A headache is accompanied by a fever

Impact Photography /

According to Morocco, M.D., If you have a fever and a headache, it may indicate a brain infection – something like meningitis.

It could also be a warning sign of encephalitis or inflammation of the brain. Especially if you observe changes in your mental state (can't remember your kids’ names or act in an odd way) — don’t hesitate to call an ambulance. 

4. It hurts behind or around the eyes

KlaraBstock /

If you have a headache with eye pain, and especially if you have a change in your vision, that's an emergency.

This is a typical manifestation of acute glaucoma or an intraocular pressure buildup that cuts off blood flow and may lead to blindness.

What we see a lot is a person goes to a movie, and when the lights go down and the pupil dilates, that change in pressure leads to the headache and the other symptoms.

5. Pain in temples

puhhha /

A localized headache is not necessarily a sign of something terrible. But if you are over 50 and feel pain in one or both temples, it could be a sign of temporal arteritis. Especially if your vision gets blurry or in case of a fever, you require urgent medical attention.

If left untreated it can result in loss of vision.

READ ALSO: How To Know It's A Migraine, Not Just A Headache: 4 Main Stages And Their Symptoms

6. You are taking blood thinners and you bumped your head

Africa Studio /

If you knocked your head and are taking blood thinners, the resulting headache can be a sign of a subdural hematoma or slow bleeding inside your brain. Due to blood thinners, the blood doesn't clot, which can be deadly. 

7. Your headache is “contagious”

chombosan /

If people around you — your family or coworkers — are complaining about a headache along with you – this can be a sign of CO2 poisoning.

According to Mark Morocco, if your headache goes away once you’re outside, you should open all windows and thoroughly air the room.

Have you noticed any of the symptoms above? Don’t delay a visit to a doctor! Take care of yourself! 

Source: Prevention

READ ALSO: 6 Most Common Types Of Headaches And How To Get Rid Of Them

This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.