Central States Pain Clinic
Women Suffering From Severe Headache

When to Know It’s Time to See a Doctor for a Headache

Headaches are an unfortunate fact of life, and they happen to everybody at some point or other. But if your headaches are especially severe, it might leave you wondering, “When should I see a doctor for headaches?”

While headaches are rarely a serious complication, in some cases, they can be a sign of a greater problem. Let’s take a deep dive into all the signs that indicate when to see a doctor for a headache.

5 Signs it’s Time to See a Doctor For A Headache

When should you see a doctor about headaches? There are five main signs that indicate your headaches require a doctor’s attention.

1. Over-The-Counter Medicine Doesn’t Help

If you’ve tried common over-the-counter pain relievers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen with no success, it could mean your headache is a sign of a greater problem. But, it’s also important to remember that different headaches are treated in different ways.

For example, common pain relievers often don’t help much with migraines. But, migraines can be mitigated with caffeine. So if you’re wondering “When should you see a doctor for headaches,” be sure you’ve used the right treatments for your headache before you rush to the doctor.

2. Your Headaches Are Becoming More Frequent And/Or More Severe

If your headaches are becoming more frequent, more severe, or both, it’s a sign that the answer to, “when should you see a doctor for a headache,” is “right now.” Worsening headaches can often be a sign of a more serious problem, ranging from high blood pressure to life threatening disease.

3. Your Headaches Are Negatively Impacting Your Sleep or Work

Being unable to sleep due to a headache may have you wondering, “when should I see a doctor for headaches?” If your headaches negatively impact your ability to sleep or work, it’s time to see a doctor. If you’re unable to sleep well due to a headache, that could in turn cause you worse headaches, leaving you in a vicious cycle.

4. You Have Frequent Headaches But You Can’t Identify A Trigger

Some headaches have easy to identify triggers. For example, dehydration is a common cause of headaches, as is stress. If you’re unable to identify what’s triggering your headaches, it’s a sign that you should seek professional medical help.

5. Your Headache Is Accompanied By Other Serious Symptoms

If you’re wondering, “when should you see a doctor about a headache,” one of the biggest signs that the answer is yes are additional symptoms. Serious symptoms include:

  • Confusion
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Numbness or weakness
  • Vision loss
  • Slurred speech

These are a sign that your headache is a part of a more serious condition, and you should waste no time in seeing a doctor.

Read more: Treating Migraines With Botox

Tension Headache: When To See A Doctor

Tension headaches are some of the most common headaches, and they’re most often caused by stress. As such, one of the best ways to manage tension headaches is by limiting stress in your life.

However, if reducing stress doesn’t help, or you simply can’t reduce the stress in your life, it can be smart to see a doctor. If you’ve tried everything and you’re wondering “when should I see a doctor about headaches,” it’s probably smart to make an appointment sooner rather than later.

If you’re struggling with headaches of any kind and you’re looking for headache treatment in Ankeny, we’re here to help. Don’t hesitate to give us a call and schedule an appointment today, so you can get the relief you need.