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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Signs & Symptoms of Dangerous Headaches

What makes a headache dangerous

DALLAS, June 30 (UPI) -- Intensity is not necessarily a sign of how serious headache pain is but there are red flags to watch out for, a U.S. neurologist says.
Dr. Ahmed Jafri of the University of Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas says anyone who frequently uses pain medication to self-treat chronic headaches should seek medical help.
"A headache may stem from a harmless problem, or it might be a sign of a life-threatening disorder," Jafri says in a statement. "There are certain red flags that should send a person to the doctor, or even an emergency room."
Jafri says any of the following symptoms warrants immediate emergency attention:
  • -- A change in the character or pattern of existing headaches.
  • -- Explosive headaches.
  • -- Headache pain that increases in intensity.
  • -- New headaches in children or seniors.
  • -- "The worst headache of my life."
  • -- Headache with exertion, coughing or sex.
In addition, Jafri says a headache accompanied by fever and stiff neck, visual impairment, fainting, paralysis anywhere on the body, or bloodshot eyes with tearing and a runny nose requires medical care.


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