When to See a Doctor

When Headaches Attack

Bad Headaches?
Your Doctor Can Help.

Sometimes—in fact most times—a headache is just that: a headache. But a headache can also be a sign that something else is wrong with the body. Headaches could be a sign of:

  • Infections
  • Head injuries
  • Eye disease
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • A brain tumor
  • Drugs and toxins

We’re not trying to scare you, but it is headaches can be serious. Again, if you get a mild headache every now and then--it's probably just a simple headache. But how can you tell the difference? How can you tell when a headache is a sign of something more serious and how do you know when you should see a doctor?

If your headache meets any of the following criteria, you should consider consulting a health-care professional to find out if the cause might be something serious:

Visit Your Doctor If...
The headache persists for more than a day
The headache changes or consistently gets worse, even after you take medicine
The headache starts as, or changes to become, a type of headache you’ve never experienced before
The headache comes on very suddenly with no apparent cause
The headache follows a blow to the head
The headache wakes you up at night
The headache involves convulsions or loss of consciousness
And, in general, if the severity and/or frequency of the headache is such that it interferes with day-to-day living


Now let's explore specific types of headaches.

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