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Mild Headache (cont.)

When to Call the Doctor for Headache Pain

Consult a doctor about your headache and find out what can be done for pain relief in these situations:

  • You have a chronic medical illness such as high blood pressure, heart disease, heart attack or stroke, diabetes, or liver problems.
  • You do not get relief with over-the-counter pain medications.
  • You are taking any other prescription or nonprescription medications.
  • There is any change in the normal pattern of your headache.
  • You have a new type of headache that you never had before.
  • You have pain in your face or eyes.

Although headaches are very common, they may be a sign of serious disease that warrants immediate medical attention. Go to an emergency department if any of the following symptoms occur:

  • Severe pain
  • Pain that develops very rapidly (sudden onset)
  • A change in concentration or ability to think
  • A change in level of alertness
  • Altered speech
  • Weakness, numbness, or difficulty walking
  • Changes in vision
  • Headache with a stiff neck or neck pain, or if light hurts your eyes
  • Worst headache of your life
  • Headache with dizziness, room spinning, or falling to one side
  • Headache from an injury or blow to the head
  • Headache with fever (over 100.4 F or 38 C when taken by mouth)
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/14/2014
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