Most of the time, headaches resolve on their own or with a little effort from you — you know, by doing things like drinking more water, getting more sleep, or taking a break from your computer screen and going for a walk.
Truly, the little things often help the most.
Sometimes, though, you may have to resort to an over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever for a particularly persistent headache. Even that’s not so bad most of the time.
But what happens when an OTC medication doesn’t do the trick or the lifestyle-based efforts you put in don’t help? When should you start to worry about a headache?
Our experts at Integrated Body and Medicine offer some insight into when you should worry about a headache and when to make a trip to your doctor.
When to worry about a headache (and when to see a doctor)
Look out for signs that may indicate your headache requires medical attention. Those signs are headaches that:
- Are unusually, extremely severe
- Are severe and sudden-onset
- First develop after age 50
- Show a sudden or intense change in pattern
- Increase with exertion such as sneezing or coughing
- Significantly increase with changes in position
- Last longer than 72 hours with fewer than four pain-free hours
- Are accompanied by numbness, dizziness, vertigo, tingling, or other neurological symptoms
- Are accompanied by changes in personality
- Arise after head trauma
- Are accompanied by painful red eyes or pain and tenderness near your temples
- Are so bad they prevent you from doing your daily activities
There are many more symptoms to watch for, so if you experience any of the signs above or other troubling conditions, call us right away to ask for guidance or to come into the office for treatment.
Treatment for headaches
Treatment depends largely on what kind of headaches you experience. While doctors and scientists aren’t entirely sure what causes all types of headaches, they do have some good information about the three most common types of headaches:
- Tension headaches
- Sinus headaches
Common triggers for tension headaches include sleep deprivation, dehydration, hunger, alcohol, certain foods, hormonal imbalances, and caffeine cessation. Sinus headaches typically arise when your sinus cavities get full of mucus. Migraines can be the result of any number of triggers, but especially bright light, loud noises, and stress.
If you experience chronic or severe headaches, get in touch with us at Integrated Body and Medicine so we can develop a comprehensive, individualized treatment plan for your specific headaches. You can live free of headache pain.
Schedule an appointment at Integrated Body and Medicine today by calling our Highland, Indiana, office or by booking an appointment through our online system.