Headache: First aid
Most headaches are minor, and you can treat them with a pain reliever. Some headaches, however, signal a dangerous or serious medical problem. Don't ignore headaches that aren't explained or headaches that steadily worsen.
Get immediate medical attention if your headache:
- Develops suddenly and severely.
- Persists for several days.
- Causes mental confusion or loss of consciousness.
- Happens with seizures.
Immediate medical attention also is needed if your headache occurs with new:
- Dizziness or loss of balance.
- Weakness or paralysis, such as in the arms or legs.
- Difficulty speaking or understanding speech.
- Reddened eye.
Also seek medical attention if your headache:
- Occurs with a fever, stiff neck or rash.
- Is accompanied by changes in vision, such as blurring or seeing halos around lights.
- Is serious and follows a recent sore throat or respiratory infection.
- Begins or worsens after a head injury, fall or bump.
- Is triggered by changing the position of your head, coughing, sneezing, bending or physical activity.
- Is a different type of headache from your usual type and you're older than 50.
Last Updated Feb 21, 2023