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Headache or Head Injuries

If you get a headache, it’s not necessarily a cause for concern. However, your headache could be a sign of a stroke, brain aneurysm, intracerebral hematoma, or another serious medical condition.

If you experience any emergency symptoms, visit Legacy ER & Urgent Care immediately. Our ER-trained physicians can assess your condition to determine the cause of the headache and then develop a treatment plan.

Types of Headaches

headacheThere are two main categories of headaches. These include primary and secondary. Secondary headaches are caused by other medical conditions, while primary headaches consist of:

Migraine headaches

  • Normally located on one side of the body
  • Typically lasting from 2-72 hours
  • Symptoms include sensitivity to sounds and lights, nausea, vomiting, and throbbing pain

Tension headaches

  • Pain occurs in the temples, forehead, and around the back of the head
  • Feel like there’s pressure on the head
  • Typically last a few hours to several days

Hypnic headaches

  • Most common in people aged 40-80
  • Occur day and night and lasts for 15-60 minutes
  • Usually on both sides of the head

Cluster headaches

  • Occur on one side of the head
  • Last for up to two hours
  • Symptoms include droopy eyelid, enlarged pupil, tearing, and stuffy nose in one nostril

Sinus headaches

  • Felt in the front of your face (nose, cheekbones, forehead)
  • Might be accompanied by swelling, fever, and a runny nose

How to Get Rid of a Headache

If your headache isn’t an emergency, you can manage it at home by taking over-the-counter pain relievers, using a cold compress, and relaxing in a dark room. Also, remove any triggers that can make the headache worse. For example, if you suffer from cluster headaches, avoid drinking alcohol during cluster periods since that can make the symptoms worse.

However, if you have ongoing issues with headaches, you might require medical intervention. Your doctor can create a treatment based on the type of headache. This might include taking medications to manage your symptoms.

When to Go to the ER with a Headache

While headaches often resolve on their own, there are warning signs that indicate you need to go to the emergency room. Head directly to the emergency room if:

  • The headache occurs immediately following physical activities, such as aerobics or weightlifting.
  • It’s the worst headache you’ve ever had.
  • The headache worsens over 24 hours.
  • The headache is caused by a head injury.
  • The headache is in one eye, and that eye is red.
  • You’re older than 50 and just started getting headaches.
  • You have a personal history of cancer.
  • You have a weakened immune system.

In addition, visit the ER if your headache is accompanied by:

  • Slurred speech
  • Vision changes
  • Balance issues
  • Confusion
  • Memory loss
  • Trouble moving your legs and arms
  • Fever
  • Stiff neck
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Pain and vision problems when chewing

If you have suffered a head injury followed by a headache or you have other symptoms, don’t delay when seeking treatment. Legacy ER & Urgent Care has six convenient locations, and you don’t need to make an appointment. Visit us immediately so we can assess and treat your condition.