Approximately 45 million people experience headaches each year. Just because they’re common doesn’t mean you have to live with their often-debilitating pain.
Headaches can take a toll on physical, mental, and emotional health, especially if they last for hours at a time or occur often.
We believe that taking control of your headaches is essential to your overall quality of life. If you’re experiencing chronic headaches with no definitive reason, it may be time to seek medical attention to get to the bottom of them. Don’t suffer through another painful headache episode; get seen by professionals who care about treating you sooner today.
State Urgent Care is open every day to help diagnose and treat headaches; just walk in.
What is a headache?
A headache is a painful sensation in your head, neck or face that can range in severity from minor to severe depending on why you are experiencing it and the accompanying symptoms.
Although headaches may feel like brain pain, it usually has nothing to do with the brain’s health or function. Most headaches are caused by an increased feeling in the nerves, blood vessels, and muscles of the head and neck that radiate out as pain.
Why do I keep getting headaches?
Typically, headaches are often caused by issues with no serious underlying condition, such as:
- Lack of sleep
- Caffeine withdrawal
- Loud noises
- Premenstrual syndrome
- Tight headwear
- Extended screen time
- Incorrect glasses or contact lens prescription
Although recurrent headaches are one of the most common nervous system-related conditions, it is imperative to rule out any other underlying conditions when you experience headaches often.
So, if you are having headaches regularly, classified as two to four times per month, you should be seen by a medical professional for a more in-depth review and comprehensive diagnosis.
What causes severe headaches?
There are various illnesses and conditions that a severe headache could be a symptom of, including:
- Tooth or gum infection
- High blood pressure
- Meningococcal disease
- A brain tumor, aneurysm or hemorrhage
In rare cases, headaches are a symptom of an underlying condition that requires immediate medical attention.
Three Reasons to Visit Urgent Care for a Headache
A common headache typically causes mild to moderate pain in the head, neck and face. If your pain becomes severe, it could indicate a more severe health issue.
1. Suspected Concussion
A concussion is a serious traumatic brain injury that can cause rapid, severe headaches. It is caused by a direct blow to the head or powerful head or neck shaking. In more serious concussion cases, loss of consciousness can occur. Other symptoms may include lack of coordination, memory loss, nausea, vomiting, excessive fatigue or dizziness.
With concussions, headache pain usually tends to radiate throughout the forehead and temples and is often described as throbbing.
If you believe you’ve experienced a concussion or head trauma to your head or neck area and now have a severe headache, you should be seen at an urgent care for further evaluation.
2. Signs of a Heatstroke
Heatstroke is a condition that occurs when your body overheats after prolonged exposure to high temperatures or extensive physical exertion in higher temperatures. If left untreated, heatstroke can cause severe damage to your brain, kidneys, and other vital organs.
Besides a severe headache, heatstroke can also cause symptoms such as a body temperature of 104 or higher, altered mental state, flushed skin, nausea, vomiting, rapid breathing or an elevated heart rate.
If you have signs of heatstroke, you should seek medical treatment now.
3. Symptoms of a Stroke
A stroke is considered a medical emergency. It occurs when blood supply to part of your brain is reduced quickly. This prevents your brain from getting the oxygen and nutrients it needs to thrive. After just a few minutes, brain cells can soon begin to die.
A sudden, severe headache accompanied by vomiting is often the first sign of a stroke.
Other symptoms include:
- Vision problems
- Droopiness on one side of your face
- Weakness or paralysis on one side of your body
- Slurred speech
- Difficulty walking
If you believe you or a loved one is suffering from a stroke, don’t wait to see if symptoms subside; seek medical treatment immediately or call 9-1-1.
Other Severe Headache Symptoms to Take Note Of
Although various underlying conditions could be to blame for a severe headache, it can sometimes be complicated to classify severe symptoms.
Generally speaking, it is best to seek care at an urgent care facility if your headache is sudden and intense or accompanied by:
- Sharp pain in the head, face or neck
- A stiff neck
- A fever over 102
- Nausea and vomiting
- A nosebleed
- Loss of balance
- Pressure in the back of your head
- Pain that wakes you from sleep or gets worse when you change position
- Blurry vision
- Face tingling
- Muscle or joint pain
- Night sweats
- Facial swelling
- A bump on your head
Comprehensive Care Close to Home
If your headache symptoms do not improve or worsen rapidly, you should visit State Urgent Care today for further diagnosis and advanced care options for your persistent headache.
We are open seven days a week to meet your unexpected health and urgent care needs. No appointments are necessary; just walk right in.