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How to Recognize Which Headache Is Dangerous

Headache is pain in any region of the head. It can be a sharp pain, throbbing sensation or dull ache. It may appear gradually or suddenly, and they may last less than an hour or for several days.

Headaches may occur on one or both sides of the head, or be isolated to a certain location.

However, it is important to know how to distinguish which headache is harmless and which one is dangerous in order to know when to visit your doctor.

Here are some headaches which require your attention:

  • Thunderclap headache

This is a sudden and severe headache which takes seconds to minutes to reach maximum intensity. It is associated with many health conditions, including subarachnoid hemorrhage, which can be life-threatening.

  • Headache after injury – damage

This is also called post-traumatic headache. It can result in blackouts immediate restorative treatment is needed. Note that even a small had injury can cause damage to the brain and create pressure in the skull.

  • Headache that is more awful after waking

This is also known as a morning migraine and you should be careful because it can be an indication of brain tumor. According to Casilda Balmaceda, M.D., an assistant professor of Neurology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City, only 8% of people who suffer from brain tumor have morning migraine.


  • Worst cerebral pain of your life

Severe migraine is accompanied by vision problems, nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. It also includes torment in the upper neck and head when lying still, hardened neck, not being able to endure light, perplexity etc. Consult your doctor if you the symptoms do not stop during the day.

  • Sudden cerebral pain

An aneurysm is a bulge or “ballooning” in the wall of an artery. Brain aneurysms usually result in a subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), which is defined as bleeding into the subarachnoid space. When blood escapes into the space around the brain, it can cause sudden symptoms, including localized headache, dilated pupils, blurred or double vision, pain above and behind eye, weakness and numbness, difficulty in speaking.

Unusual migraines:

A few characteristics of unordinary headache include:

  • Those that develop after age 50
  • The frequency, location, and severity changes frequently
  • Worsens each day
  • Hampers vision and speech
  • Occurs after activities like weight lifting, sex, or jogging
  • This is the worst headache you have ever had
  • With the headache you suffer from memory loss, difficulty moving extremities, loss of balance, and confusion
  • They occur with fever, nausea, or vomiting and are not linked to other health issues
  • Headache linked with shortness of breath
  • Accompanied by seizures
  • Your headaches limit your ability to work and participate in everyday activties

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