When should you see a doctor for a headache?
Almost everyone has suffered a headache at some point in their lives. The experience can range from “it went away on its own” to “my head throbbed for 72 hours.” The question is though when is it time to see a doctor for your headaches?
The pain you feel during a headache can be on one side of your head or on both sides at once. It can be a throbbing pain in your forehead or feel like your head is caught in a vice. Let’s examine the different types of headaches.
A tension headache is a very common type of headache; it’s estimated that up to 80 percent of adults experience them on an occasional basis. The pain is usually described as a constant band-like pain around the forehead or back of the head and neck. Other symptoms include tenderness around the scalp, neck, and shoulder muscles.
A migraine headache is a painful and sometimes recurring headache that appears quickly, often with severe pain in the temple area on one side of the head, which may extend to the face, sinuses, jaw, and neck. Migraines can last from an hour to 72 hours. Commonly, nausea or vomiting and sensitivity to light and/or sound can accompany a migraine headache. If you are experiencing this type of headache, you should see a doctor for a migraine diagnosis and treatment options.
A sinus headache is caused by an inflammation of your sinus cavities, often resulting from a cold or allergies. Sinus headaches can cause pain and pressure around the nose, eyes, forehead, and cheeks. People often confuse sinus headaches with migraines because the signs and symptoms can be similar.
When to See a Doctor for Headaches?
Now that you know a little about the different types of headaches, when should you see a doctor about them? If you have experienced headaches consistently once a week or more, you should see a doctor. Dr. Milestone and The Migraine Center of NJ can help with that. By developing a treatment plan to reduce the frequency and severity of headaches is important, because four or more headaches per week are a risk factor for chronic migraine!
Also consider seeing your doctor if you experience the following:
- Headaches are more frequent or more severe than usual
- Headaches that worsen or don’t improve with the proper use of over-the-counter drugs
- You can’t perform normal activities, such as working or sleeping
- Headaches are caused by coughing, exercise, or sexual activity
If your headaches cause you distress, consider seeing your doctor to find a treatment option that works for you. When to seek emergency care: It’s up to you to decide whether your headache needs emergency medical attention. But know the warning signs that could indicate a serious condition: confusion or trouble understanding speech, loss of vision or speech, high fever, fainting, uncontrollable vomiting.
If you or someone you know is suffering from headaches and located near Paramus, Fairlawn, Ridgewood, Oradell, Saddle Brook, New Milford, or surrounding Bergen County NJ areas please contact us at 201-845-8411 to schedule a complete consultation.