Why does my head always hurt 1
Some sufferers can only lie in bed, others want to scream out loud: Headaches can be so severe that the thought quickly arises that there might be a serious illness behind the pain. As a rule, the fear is unfounded. In about five percent of all cases, however, the pain is a symptom of another - sometimes threatening - disease. The American Headache Society has the warning labels for a serious illness under the acronym SNOOP compiled. Anyone who experiences any of the following signs should see a doctor:
- S.for systemic symptoms: The headache comes with symptoms that affect the whole body, such as a high fever.
- N for neurological symptoms: At the same time as the pain, those affected experience disorders such as dizziness, confusion, clouding of consciousness, impaired vision, weakness or numbness of the extremities or the inability to speak. On the other hand, the aura that precedes some migraine attacks is not a warning sign. Neurological phenomena such as visual disturbances also occur with her. But the aura usually only lasts for a short time and is over when the headache sets in.
- O for onset (in German: onset): The headache sets in explosively, as if the person concerned had been hit on the head. This form is also known as the "thunderbolt headache". Within a minute the pain reaches its maximum, which can be so severe that doctors call it a "annihilating headache". It can indicate a life-threatening cerebral haemorrhage; those affected have to go to the hospital as soon as possible.
- O for Older Age of Onset (older age at the beginning): If people over the age of 50 develop very severe headaches for the first time, a doctor should clarify the symptoms. Older people are at greater risk of developing underlying diseases that are heralded by headaches, such as strokes.
- P for pattern change (Change in headache pattern): People with migraines or frequent tension headaches can also experience a secondary headache that is due to a serious illness. Therefore, deviations from the typical pain pattern should be taken seriously and clarified.
All of these warning signs can indicate a number of medical conditions. These include, for example, a sudden increase in blood pressure or meningitis, i.e. inflammation of the meninges. It can be recognized primarily by the fever and stiff neck: Patients fail to lower their heads towards their chests. Strokes can also make themselves felt as headaches. They are often accompanied by neurological symptoms such as unilateral weakness or paralysis. In this case you should dial the emergency number at 112. You can find out more about first aid in the event of a stroke here.
On the other hand, the greatest fear of many headache patients that a brain tumor will trigger the symptoms is, in the vast majority of cases, unfounded. Headache due to brain tumors is the only or first symptom in less than 0.1 percent of headache sufferers.
Even if most pain is not an emergency, you should see a doctor if you experience recurring and distressing pain. This test gives you an indication of whether your pain needs treatment. On the other hand, permanent self-sufficiency with medication is not advisable because the medication can cause headaches if it is used continuously.
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