How Do You Know When Your Headache Is Serious Enough For Urgent Care?

When-Is-Your-Headache-Is-Serious-Enough-For-Urgent-CareHeadaches are common and almost always nothing to worry about, but there are certain signs your headache requires a trip to your local Urgent Medical Center.  Some headaches are best dealt with at urgent care, while in other more rare and serious instances, you may need to go to the emergency room for your headache.

Headaches signal everything from hunger and dehydration to stroke or series brain injury.  You know your body better than anyone; you know what your normal headaches feel like in comparison to something different or more intense. There are certain headaches that are familiar to you, which over time you learn how to treat, for instance by drinking water, eating something, or lying down in a cool, dark room.

Signs Your Headache Requires A Trip To Urgent Care:

  • Headache that doesn’t go away in timely manner.
  • Headache comes with unusual side effects such as feeling weak or dizzy.
  • Your headache is accompanied by a fever and/or rash.
  • Headache causes nausea or vomiting
  • Headache occurs after a minor accident (serious accidents that result in a headache require ER treatment)
  • You are experiencing 3 or more headaches per week
  • New headaches following the start of a new medication
  • You are taking over 2-3 doses of over-the-counter medications every week in order to battle through headaches.
  • You notice headaches tend to spark after a period of exertion, coughing or bending.
  • You have always experienced headaches but are noticing a change in your headaches.

Signs Your Headache Requires A Trip To The Emergency Room:

  • A sudden and very severe headache that develops full steam in around 1-2 seconds, as this could be a sign of stroke.
  • Headache that comes with vision loss, double vision or blurry vision
  • Headache following any sort of moderate to severe head trauma

ER doctors work to relieve discomfort and make sure there is no life threatening issue going on. Never go to the ER for a persistent headache, they do not have anything to help deal with this sort of problem. They are equipped to treat and diagnoses headaches related to series medical issues or injuries that if not treated right away could result in impairment or even death.

If your headache is related to a stroke or aneurysm you want to get to the emergency room as fast as possible. An aneurysm is a ruptured blood vessel in the brain; this can cause a severe and sudden headache, stroke-like symptoms, or even death. Signs of an aneurism include blurred vision, speech changes, headaches and neck pain. If you think you or someone you love has experienced a brain aneurysm you need to get to the emergency room as quick as possible. If you are alone call for an ambulance, do not drive.

If you are simply on your ‘last straw’ in terms of frequent headaches your best bet is to head to Urgent Medical Center.

Identifying Serious Vs. Non-Serious Headaches

Headaches can identify everything from hunger to stress to Type 2 Diabetes. The headache is rarely the real problem, but instead an indication of another problem. Knowing the difference between needing to eat something and visiting urgent care for testing is key.

The confusing part is, the severity of your headache isn’t always a good indicator to how serious the actual problem is. In fact, very minor headaches can signal huge internal issues and visa-versa.

For instance, many people experience horrible hunger headaches when they fail to consume enough nutritionally valuable calories. These are generally defined as ‘tension headaches’ caused by muscle tension and low blood sugar. When you are hungry your muscles tighten and your blood sugar drops. As a result, the body releases hormones to try and balance low glucose levels, triggering headaches. If you take medication to counteract hunger headaches you could create more problems for yourself. Make sure to eat enough calories throughout the day to avoid hunger headaches. 

Hunger headaches are often accompanied by pain that starts at the back of the head and works its way around. People often experience a tight feeling in the forehead, pressure on both sides of the head, and tense shoulders.

Headaches triggered by low blood sugar may cause you to feel shaky, light headed, weak, fatigued, confused, and sweaty. This is where it gets confusing because the symptoms associated with being hungry, could also signal issues related to something as serious as Diabetes.

Keep careful track of your headaches and potential contributors, this will help you and your doctor better determine the triggering factor.

If you experience frequent headaches, make an appointment or just drop by Urgent Medical Center at any time. Even if it turns out to be nothing serious, at least you’ll get some peace of mind, literally and figuratively.

References: Livestrong, WebMD

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