Most people experience a headache at some point in their lives, and the
vast majority of these headaches are minor and can be treated at home
with rest and over-the-counter medications. In some cases, however, headaches
can be an indicator of a more serious condition that requires emergency
care. Here is what you need to know about when to seek
medical care when a headache strikes.
It’s the worst headache you have ever had.
Sudden and intense headaches can indicate a serious medical condition,
like a stroke or aneurysm, which require lifesaving emergency care. People
who get headaches that indicate these serious conditions usually characterize
them as the worst headaches they have ever had and very different from
other types of headaches they have experienced. Sudden, severe headaches
should be evaluated in the ER so that stroke care or another appropriate
treatment can be provided quickly.
It occurs with speech, vision, or behavioral changes.
As Regional Medical Center of San Jose neurologist Dr. Raul Guisado explains in
this video, having a stroke doesn’t make you more prone to later headaches.
However, headaches can be indicators of a stroke, especially when they
are accompanied by other stroke symptoms, like slurred speech, vision
difficulties, and confusion. Because fast stroke care is so essential
to stop the loss of brain tissue, these types of headaches should be evaluated
in the ER.
The pain is getting worse and interfering with your activities.
Headache pain that continues to get worse and that prevents you from doing
your normal activities could require emergency care. You may be suffering
from a severe migraine or cluster headache that could benefit from prescription
strength oral pain medication, medication injections, lidocaine, or inhaling
highly concentrated oxygen.
Regional Medical Center of San Jose provides emergency care 24 hours a day, 365 days per year for all of your
urgent medical needs, from intense headaches to chest pain. Learn more
about all of our hospital services today by calling (888) 762-8881.