Headaches happen to all of us, but there are certain types that you should not ignore and could be a sign of a severe health issue.
HuffPo reports that headaches, even migraines are very common with 1 in 4 households having a member who deals with migraines. Stephen Silberstein, the director of the Jefferson Headache Center, says people who get occasional headaches and migraines but feel generally OK between the episodes usually do not need to worry.
But he warns, “If the headache feels different than it usually does or if it’s the first time you’ve had this type of headache, then it’s important to look more closely at what’s going on."
These are referred to as "secondary headaches," which only reportedly affect around 3 to 4 percent of people. Some of the warnings signs of a secondary headache include:
A very intense headache that occurs all of a sudden - The experts warn this could be a sign of a possible brain aneurysm (when the blood vessels in your brain start to bulge due to weakness in the vessel wall and can cause a vessel leak or rupture and a stroke.) This type of headache is also called a "thunderclap headache." If you are experiencing this issue, it is advised that you seek medical attention immediately.
New headaches that are worse in the morning - Merle Diamond, the director of the Diamond Headache Clinic, explains head pain more intense during the AM hours could be a sign of a brain tumor.
Headache with fever or with other symptoms - HuffPo's health experts note when head pain occurs with other issues like fever, rash, or stiff neck, it could be an indicator of meningitis Additionally, a headache paired with issues like the loss of taste or smell, chills, shortness of breath or fatigue could be a sign of a COVID-19 infection.
Headaches when standing - The experts warn this could point to an issue with either "too high or low pressure in the head," and say if this is occurring consistently to have it checked out.
New headaches as you grow older - “If someone is 50 years or older and has never had problems with headaches before, this could be something called giant cell (or temporal) arteritis,” Silberstein says.
A drastic change in the type of headaches you experience - It is also important to monitor your seemingly benign headaches that suddenly change. Diamond warns, “Let’s say you are 40 years old with a new onset of a completely different headache or a change in symptoms. You need to let your medical provider know this, because now the characteristics of your headaches has changed, and we need to figure out why.”
As always, if you are experiencing any type of extreme head pain or alarming type of headache, please speak to your medical care provider or seek medical attention.