Which headaches should you be worried about?
Headaches are very common and usually absolutely nothing to worry about. See our little chart for the more common types, which give discomfort but are not serious.
This is when you should go to the doctor:
1) A headache after an injury, even a really mild headache, as it could be that you have concussion or bleeding on the brain.
2) A thunderclap headache, so called because it develops in only a minute and could be severe and frequent. It could be an indication of bleeding on the brain.
3)A headache where you are lying down, but still have pain in the head and neck, can´t stand the light, have stiffness of your neck, vomiting and confusion. Get immediate medical help as it could be due to a hemorrhage caused by a ruptured aneurysm in the brain.
4)A headache that seems unusually odd. For example, your speech or vision changes, it feels like the worst headache you have ever suffered from, you have memory loss, fever, vomiting, seizures or cannot perform usual tasks.
5) A headache accompanied by severe pain or numbness on one side of your body, loss of balance, of being able to move your arms and speech problems. I think most of us would realise this could be indicative of a stroke or a heart attack and requires calling an ambulance immediately or going to Urgencias if well enough.
6) A headache which gets worse when you are walking or playing sport. I had a client once who started with a headache while playing tennis. The headache increased and this is a sign that is it possibly serious. In his case it was a brain tumour. Going to bed and waking up with an even worse headache with vomiting is definitely a sign to get immediate help.
So please do not be alarmed, but just keep this in mind if you hear a friend in severe discomfort or you feel unwell.