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Headaches are one of the most common disorders affecting the nervous system, where studies point out that almost half of the global adult population is affected by headache. Be it a sudden throb or a constant pain; headaches can make it difficult for you to function normally.
Be it babies, teenagers, adults or the elderly, headaches spare no one. Headaches can be caused due to several reasons. From underlying health issues to your food habits, several factors can trigger that throbbing pain which will want you to take a break from the world and sit in a dark, silent corner for some relief .
While headaches can be quite bothersome, on most occasions, there is no need to worry about them. Severe problems or health conditions do not cause most headaches; however, in some cases, the headache can be indicative that something is wrong.
If you have a headache, along with a stiff neck and a high fever, your headache mostly is not a normal one. Let's take a look at the signs and symptoms, which can be an indication than your headache is not normal.
Severe Headache Symptoms You Should Worry About
Ten per cent of headaches are a sign of a severe condition which requires emergency evaluation. While it is not easy to tell the difference between an ordinary headache and one that is dangerous to your health, some severe causes of headache pain include haemorrhagic (bleeding) stroke, aneurysm, meningitis and brain tumour .
Take a look at the headache symptoms you should worry about.
1. A sudden severe headache
Suppose a severe headache comes on suddenly, and in less than five minutes, it results in maximum pain. In that case, it is something to be considered seriously. The sudden headache or a thunderclap headache could mean a subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH) or bleed within your brain caused by a leaky aneurysm .
This sign will not subside in a few minutes like a normal headache and can persist for longer hours and even days. Doctors advise that one should be careful not to make the mistake of taking headache pills and going to sleep, as it can only worsen the pain and result in severe complications .
2. Worse headache of your life
Any headache can be bad, but in this case, the severity of the headache pain is exceptionally high, and you would require immediate medical attention. Intense headaches can be a sign of a potentially life-threatening condition. A sudden and severe headache can indicate an aneurysm or bleeding in the brain, as aforementioned .
3. Headache with a fever and stiff neck
Suppose your headache comes along with a fever and a stiff neck. In that case, it could be an indication that you are suffering from meningitis, an inflammation of the brain and spinal cord membranes . In some cases, a bad headache accompanied by a fever can also cause you to have an altered mental state.
4. Headache that changes intensity
There have been reports of people experiencing headaches in a higher intensity than the usual bouts of headaches . Suppose your headache feels both severe and different from what you usually experience. In that case, it could be indicative of any severe health issue that requires immediate medical attention.
5. Pain behind/around your eyes
When the headache causes you to have pain around or behind your eyes, it is an emergency, and you should get a doctor to look at it. The headache pain can also cause a change in your vision, resulting in acute glaucoma, or a build-up of pressure in your eye that cuts off its blood flow and can result in blindness .
6. Pain is centred in your temple
If you are over the age of 50 and the headache feels tightly focused in one or both of your temples, the headache is not normal and could be a sign of temporal arteritis, a condition in which the arteries in your temples become inflamed . If left untreated, it can result in loss of vision.
7. Headache after you hit your head somewhere
It goes without saying that head injuries should be evaluated by a medical professional, even if the damage is externally minor . A headache after a blow to the head may not be severe. Still, it can be indicative that you may have suffered a concussion or other brain injury. Along with the headache pain, a person will also experience loss of consciousness, dizziness, nausea, and confusion .
8. Headache with continued vomiting and nausea
While it is normal to feel nauseous or have the occasional vomiting when you are suffering from a throbbing headache, experiencing frequent vomiting that goes on for longer than a day or two is not normal . Continued vomiting can cause dehydration, leading to severe health complications.
9. Changes in personality or functioning
Yes, headaches can cause that and no, we are not talking about MPD (multiple personality disorder). If the headache develops along with confusion, weakness, or loss of coordination, it could be the warning signs of a stroke and immediate medical intervention is necessary .
10. A contagious headache
No, do not worry, headaches are contagious, but the trigger of it can be. That is, if a group of people staying in the same place, such as you and your family, or your co-workers are complaining about headaches the same time you are experiencing an unusual ache could be a sign of CO (carbon monoxide) poisoning . If you get out and your head feels better, and the pain subsides, make sure to get everyone out of the room and open the windows and doors . Also, inspect the space for possible carbon monoxide poisoning.
The other signs that tell you your head is not normal are as follows:
• Fainting 
• Night sweats
• Difficulty walking
• Hearing problems
• Muscle or joint pain
• Unexplained weight loss
• Dizziness or loss of balance
• Swelling on your face or head
• Pain that wakes you from sleep
• Pressure in the back of your head
• Droopiness on one side of your face 
• Weakness on one side of your body
• Pain that begins after any exertion
• Constant pain in the same area of your head
• Pain that gets worse when you change position
• Face tingling and auras that last longer than an hour
On A Final Note…
You must get immediate medical attention if you have severe, unusual pain or other signs and symptoms, as aforementioned, along with your headaches. Besides, if you never had headaches, but now you seem to have them all the time. If the intensity of your regular migraines has suddenly increased, it is time you get a doctor to look at it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What does a normal headache feel like?
A. The normal headache produces a dull, squeezing pain on both sides of the head.
Q. How do I know if my headache is serious?
A. Your headache is serious if,
• your headache comes on suddenly and is explosive or violent,
• your headache is "the worst ever," even if you regularly get headaches,
• you also have slurred speech, a change in vision, problems moving your arms or legs, loss of balance, confusion, or memory loss with your headache, and
• your headache gets worse over 24 hours.
Q. When should I worry about a headache?
A. You must seek immediate medical attention if you have a sudden, very severe headache, and it's the first time it's happened, and also if you are experiencing any of the signs of stroke including a dropped face on one side; droopy mouth or eye; cannot lift one or both arms; or have slurred or garbled speech.
Q. Why does my head hurt every day?
A. Conditions that might cause nonprimary chronic daily headaches to include inflammation or other problems with the blood vessels in and around the brain, including stroke, and infections, such as meningitis.
Q. Is it normal to have headaches every day?
A. Most people get headaches once in a while, but it is not normal to have a headache every day.