When Should You Worry About Your Headache and Seek Immediate Help?
Everyone gets headaches, so you might not think you need to see a doctor about yours. However, even if you suffer from frequent headaches, you should be vigilant about recognising warning signs that might need emergency treatment.
Stroke Can Cause a Headache
When you have a stroke, the blood flow to your brain is blocked causing brain cells to die. Some migraine symptoms can be similar to those of a stroke such as a sudden and severe headache, vision problems in one or both eyes, dizziness, and confusion.
The type of stroke that is most often mistaken for a migraine is a transient ischemic attack (TIA). A TIA can have serious life altering effects so if your migraine or aura symptoms seem different than usual, you should get treatment right away.
If you are over the age of 40 and have never had a migraine before, it is recommended that you get help right away because it’s rare for older adults to suddenly develop a migraine disorder. Early intervention can limit how much damage your brain receives from the stroke.
Recognising headaches with dangerous causes is important, so seek immediate help if you suffer a headache with any of the following:
- Weakness, loss of balance, paralysis
- Double vision or blind spots
- Stiff neck or a rash
- Seizures or trouble with speech
- Headaches after a head injury
Allergies Can Cause Headaches
If you have migraines and allergies, you might find that during allergy season your migraines become much worse. One study revealed that migraines are up to four times more likely in people with allergic rhinitis. Usually these are migraines without aura so it is common for the headaches to be misdiagnosed as a sinus headache, especially if the migraine causes congestion.
The reason people with allergies have migraines more often is thought to be because allergies cause inflammation and histamine release throughout the body, making a person more susceptible to migraines.
Medications designed to treat the pain and side effects for migraines are an effective way to get relief. In addition to reducing the amount of head pain, migraine medication can reduce the severity of side effects like auras, nausea, and light sensitivity.
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