What should I do when headache symptoms get worse?

Contact your doctor immediately if you notice any of the following:

  • A very sudden, violent head pain. This could signal an aneurysm or some other serious problem. Seek help immediately if you have pain like this.
  • A headache that gets worse over time and includes nausea and vomiting as well as personality and speech changes. This could be a sign of a stroke or tumor.
  • A headache that includes nausea, vomiting, fever, and a stiff neck. This could be a sign of meningitis.
  • A headache that occurs after a head injury, especially if there is loss of consciousness. This could signify a concussion or bleeding into the brain. If this type of headache occurs even several weeks after an injury, contact a doctor immediately.

Most headaches are troublesome but not dangerous or life threatening. Most of the time, you can tell whether or not your headache is the same as it always has been or is changing. If your headache is different than it has been in the past, consult your doctor. It could simply be a natural change in your headache patterns. Or it could be an indication of a more serious problem.



If you notice that your headache matches any of the 4 headaches described above, seek medical help at once. It could be a sign of a very serious problem.

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