When Should You Go to the Emergency Room for a Headache?

It is not always easy to tell the difference between a standard headache and a medical emergency, especially if you suffer from frequent migraines. However, although headaches are common and usually can be treated at home, they can also be warnings of a medical crisis. Consider seeking emergency care if you experience a headache that occurs with any of these symptoms.

You Have Severe Pain

Many headaches can be intensely painful, but if your headache is more severe than you have ever experienced, you may need emergency care. Severe head pain can be the sign of an impending stroke or aneurysm, and urgent care is required to treat both of these conditions. Whether your headache started slowly and the pain has grown to unbearable levels or the headache hit you with explosive intensity, consider getting the cause diagnosed in the ER.

You Have Vision or Speech Problems

People with migraines sometimes experience visual anomalies called aura, but if you have a headache and have blurry vision or speech problems, it may be time for emergency care. Both of these symptoms can indicate a stroke, and when it comes to stroke care, timing is everything. Early emergency care can minimize brain damage and disability associated with strokes.

You Have a Fever and Sore Neck

Sometimes, a headache can be a symptom of meningitis. There are several types of meningitis, and while sometimes this spine infection clears up on its own, other cases can be life-threatening. A headache accompanied by a fever, stiff neck, or vomiting may be linked to meningitis, which requires emergency treatment.

The ER at Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center in Las Vegas offers comprehensive emergency care services 24-hours per day for patients of all ages. Find out how we can help you cope with medical emergencies or request a physician referral by calling (702) 233-5300.

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