Most headaches are caused by stress or sinus issues, however headaches can have a serious and dangerous side to them also. Here are a few ways to recognize when a headache is more than just a headache.
• Thunderclap headaches
If you have a frequent and fairly severe headache which develops quickly, in one minute, then this could be a sign of thunderclap headaches which can be the result of post stroke brain bleeding, head injuries or aneurysm.
• Headache after an injury
If after you have a head injury, you feel a headache developing, you should seek medical attention. This could be a sign of a concussion. Even if it is a small injury to the head, bleeding of the brain could be occurring which would be the cause of the headache you are experiencing.
• Headache gets worse when walking
This could be a symptom of a brain tumor. If when you go to bed with a headache then wake up and it is worse, even causing vomiting, then this is a red flag. If the headache increases with exercising or walking, this is another serious red flag.
• Worst headache of your life feeling
You could have a ruptured aneurysm in the brain which will cause headache pain and upper neck pain when you are lying still. Vomiting, confusion, stiff neck, and light intolerance are more red flags to look out for.
• Sudden headaches
Experiencing a sudden headache may also include experiencing numbness and pain on one side of the body. Your arms, legs and face muscles may feel weak. You may have difficulty speaking, balancing, walking, and seeing. This could mean you are experiencing a heart attack.
• Unusual headache
If you have an unusual or weird headache which just feels “off” for some reason, then definitely consult a doctor.
Here are some signs:
• Headaches after the age of 50
• Severity, location and frequency of the headaches change
• The headaches become worse
• Vision and speech difficulties
• Headache after jogging, sex or weight lifting
• The most terrible headache you have ever experienced
• Memory loss, imbalance, confusion and inability to move the extremities easily
• Fever, vomiting and nausea along with the headache
• Shortness of breath
• Inability to perform normal daily activities