couple older

Not all headaches require a physician’s attention. But headaches can signal a more serious disorder that requires prompt medical care. Immediately call or see a doctor if you or someone you’re with experiences any of these symptoms:

Sudden, severe headache that may be accompanied by a stiff neck.

Severe headache accompanied by fever, nausea or vomiting that is not related to another illness.

First” or “worst” headache, often accompanied by confusion, weakness, double vision or loss of consciousness.

Headache that worsens over days or weeks or has changed in pattern or behavior.

Recurring headache in children.

Headache following a head injury.

Headache and a loss of sensation or weakness in any part of the body, which could be a sign of a stroke.

Headache associated with convulsions.

Headache associated with shortness of breath.

Two or more headaches per week.

Persistent headache in someone who has been previously headache-free, particularly in someone over age 50.

New headaches in someone with a history of cancer or HIV/AIDS.

Source: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

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