When to go to the Emergency Room for a Headache

Headaches

Headaches can vary in severity. Whether you’re suffering from tension headaches, cluster headaches, or migraines, rest assured that the doctors do everything in their power to diagnose the underlying cause of your headache and relieve the pain. If a headache is causing you extreme discomfort, visit the Village Emergency Centers for emergency care.

When To Go To The Emergency Room For a Headache

Whether you are coming in for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, knowing when to go to the emergency room for a headache can save you time and stress. Headaches are an incredibly common symptom for a host of ailments, so it’s important to pay attention to other symptoms you may be experiencing in addition to your headache. Knowing when to go to the emergency room for a headache can save your life.

While some headaches may be a symptom of life-threatening conditions, some headaches can be caused simply by not drinking enough water, not eating enough, or not getting enough sleep. However, if your headache symptoms come to you as a surprise as sudden onset, or if you experience what feels like the worst headache you have ever had, these are urgent headache symptoms that should be dealt with in the emergency room. Experiencing what feels like the worst headache of your life is not a normal occurrence and should prompt you to either find a doctor or come into the emergency room.

Stress can also play a factor in causing headaches. Stress and high blood pressure go hand-in-hand, and this may be the cause for your frequent headaches if you notice a rise in your blood pressure at the same time that your headaches occur. Oftentimes, headaches are treated by targeting a different area of the body not related to the head. If you experience frequent headaches or migraines, they could be caused by something that is going on in another part of your body. This is why it’s important to pay attention to both headache symptoms and accompanying symptoms as well.

Serious symptoms including slurred speech and dizziness should not be ignored and is a clear sign to an emergency department’s ER doctors that you need urgent care. There are certain types of headaches that can point to long term damage if not treated in time, including a subarachnoid hemorrhage due to having a stroke. In times of crisis, the most important thing that can be done is to ensure you receive the best health care possible and a CT scan to diagnose your issues.

FAQ

What are the different types of headaches?

The most common types of headaches include:
 
Tension headaches
Tension headaches result from tension in the muscles around the shoulder, neck, and head. They’re the most common and may cause headache pain to come and go.
 
Cluster headaches
Cluster headaches can feel like an intense burning or piercing pain behind your eye. The throbbing pain is consistent and often debilitating. Since they occur in groups, they’re called cluster headaches.
 
Migraines
Migraines produce severe throbbing, usually on one side of your head, that can last for hours or even days. These headaches are often accompanied by nausea, vision disturbances, and digestive troubles.
 
If your headache is the result of a trauma, it’s always best to seek prompt medical attention at Clear Creek Emergency Room.

There are over 150 different types of headaches, and the number of causes are as numerous. The most common headaches are triggered by factors that may include:
 
Stress
Stress is a common trigger that prompts your body to release certain chemicals that cause changes in your blood vessels, often leading to a headache.
 
Foods
Certain foods and beverages, like alcohol, can trigger headaches. In people who are sensitive to them, specific food additives, such as nitrates or monosodium glutamate (MSG) may bring on a headache.
 
Injury
If you’ve been involved in a collision or fall where your head took the brunt of the impact, a headache could be the sign of a concussion, and you should be evaluated right away.
 
Illness
Often, headaches are a symptom of another health condition, the most common being sinus headaches. These headaches are a result of a sinus infection, which creates a dull throbbing behind your cheeks and eyes. Allergies may also contribute to sinus headaches.
 
A few other examples of diseases or conditions that may cause a headache include:

  • Glaucoma
  • Brain tumor
  • Dehydration
  • Brain aneurysm
  • Meningitis
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • High blood pressure, or hypertension
  • Encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain

While most headaches aren’t serious and go away on their own, some may signal a more serious condition that requires emergency medical care.

Thanks to a well-equipped facility, the doctors at Village Emergency Centers review your symptoms, perform an examination, and order testing based on your symptoms. These tests may include:

  • An MRI
  • A CT scan
  • Cognitive tests
  • X-rays

Why Choose Village Emergency Centers?

Little To No Wait Time

24/7 Emergency Care

Convenient Locations

Board-Certified Doctors

Pediatric Emergency Department

CT Scan, Ultrasound, & X-rays

All private Insurances Accepted

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