A severe headache is a throbbing, stabbing, dull, or pulsing pain that occurs anywhere in the head. It may spread across a wide region of the head, or it may be localized in one place. Severe headaches may develop gradually or occur suddenly, and they can last from one hour to several days.
Headaches are one of the most common illnesses Americans suffer and there is a good chance you will experience a headache during your lifetime. They can affect anyone, age, race, income and gender notwithstanding.
If you have a severe headache that is not responding to over-the-counter medications, you should visit the closest emergency room. SignatureCare Emergency Center has numerous emergency room locations in Houston including Westchase, Montrose, Heights and Memorial City, Sugar Land/Mission Bend, Austin and College Station.
Our ERs and walk-in clinics are open 24/7, and our board-certified doctors treat severe headaches. Make an appointment today or just walk in. We treat all medical emergencies.
Causes of Severe Headaches
Headaches are classified according to their causes but there are different types of headaches.
1. Primary Headaches
Primary headaches occur when the pain is not the result of another symptom or disease. These headaches are caused by chemical activity in the brain, genetics, or the reaction of pain-sensitive structures. There are several types of primary headaches, including:
Tension Headaches – A tension headache is characterized by a tight band of pressure and pain around the head. Scientists are not sure what causes tension headaches, but the pain can usually be managed with lifestyle changes and medication.
Cluster Headaches – A cluster headache is a sharp, burning pain that is located on one side of your head. It often occurs without warning in the middle of the night, and the pain may go away in a short time. Cluster headaches may be managed using medications and acute treatments.
2. Migraine Headaches
A migraine headache is a severe headache that is often accompanied by vomiting, nausea, and sensitivity to sound and light. These pulsing and throbbing headaches may last for a few hours or several days. Migraine headaches may be managed using preventative measures and medication.
3. Chronic Daily Headaches
If you have headaches almost every day, then you may suffer from chronic daily headaches. These headaches are incessant and may make it difficult for you to participate in regular activities. Chronic daily headaches may be managed with medication, but some people find that their pain continues despite taking medicine.
4. Activity Headaches
Activity headaches are brought on by participating in an activity. They are often associated with exercising, having sex, and coughing.
5. Secondary Headaches
Secondary headaches are triggered when another health issue causes the nerves in the head to overreact to pain. Many illnesses and health conditions can cause secondary headaches, including:
- Ear Infection
- Blood Clot
When to Seek Emergency Room Treatment for Severe Headache
If you notice that you are having more headaches than normal or that your pain is increasing in intensity, visit a nearby emergency room immediately.
SignatureCare Emergency Center has several emergency rooms in Houston, Austin and College Station. Come in as soon as you notice the following symptoms:
- Vomiting or Nausea if you do not have the Flu
- Fainting or Weakness
- High Fever
- Loss of balance
- Speech difficulties
If you are suffering from a severe headache, visit our closest ER today. Our emergency room is always open so that we can provide you with pain relief 24/7. Our board-certified physicians are available 24 hours to diagnose and treat all medical emergencies including severe headaches.