HEADACHES can be annoying and uncomfortable and are often caused by dehydration.
But if your headache feels severe, one doctor has revealed the red flag symptoms that could mean you need urgent medical attention.
There are a range of reasons as to why you might have a headache and your lifestyle will have a big impact.
People who work shifts are likely to experience headaches, especially when you first wake up.
Those who suffer with sleep disorders are also likely to be regularly sufferers of headaches, as are people who have mental and physical health problems.
Posting to Tik Tok Dr Mohan Sekeram, a doctor in Merton London, explained that a thunderclap headache is a extremely severe headache that comes on rapidly.
He revealed the five key symptoms that might mean you need to seek medical attention.
In the comments section he said: “If red flags are persisting then should get checked.”
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Here’s Dr Sekeram’s top five red flags to watch out for:
- Headache associated with blurred or double vision
- Headache with persistent vomiting
- Headache that wakes you up at night
- Neck stiffness and high temperature
- Headache worsening in nature
The NHS states that headaches can last anywhere between 30 minutes and several hours.
They state: “Most headaches go away on their own and are not a sign of something more serious.”
In order to get rid of a headache, the NHS suggests that you should drink plenty of water, get plenty of rest if you have a cold or the flu and try to relax as stress can make headaches worse.
You should also take paracetamol or ibuprofen to help ease the pain.
Is it a headache or a migraine?
Dr Sekeram said some of these symptoms could also be down to a migraine.
There are a number of reasons why we might get a migraine but not many people know why they keep coming back.
The Global Burden of Disease Study 2013 lists migraine as one of only eight chronic medical conditions to affect more than 10 per cent of the population worldwide.
The NHS says that one in every five women and around one in every 15 men experience migraines.
Previously speaking to The Sun Dr Richard Day explained that a migraine is a complex syndrome which can be divided into four distinct phases.
The medical adviser, who studies medical sciences and medicine said first there is the pro-drome, which includes constipation or diarrhoea – sometimes followed by an aura.
How can I get rid of a headache fast?
As well as over the counter tablets, it is important to stay well hydrated to avoid headaches in general.
Here are some ways to banish the pain today:
- Cold pack: Placing a cold pack on your forehead can do wonders for a migraine. Ice cubes wrapped in a towel, a bag of frozen peas, or even a cold shower may lessen the pain. Keep the compress on your head for 15 minutes then take a break for 15 minutos.
- Heating pad: For tension headaches, place a heating pad on your neck or the back of your head. If you have a sinus headache, hold a warm cloth to the area that hurts. A warm shower might also do the trick.
- Ease pressure on your head: If your ponytail is too tight, it could cause a headache. Estas “external compression headaches” can also be brought on by wearing a hat, headband, or even swimming goggles that are too tight. Some people say this method works almost instantly.
- Dim the lights: Bright or flickering lights can trigger migraines. If you’re prone to them, cover your windows with blackout curtains during the day and try to wear sunglasses outdoors. You might also want to add anti-glare screens to your computer.
- Avoid chewing too much: Chewing gum hurts not just your jaw but can cause headaches too. And it’s not just gum, as the same is true for chewing your fingernails, labios, the inside or your cheeks, or handy objects like pens. Avoid crunchy and sticky foods if you are suffering and make sure you take small bites. If you grind your teeth at night, ask your dentist about a mouth guard as this may curb early-morning headaches.
- Get some caffeine: No, this isn’t a mistake. Small amounts of caffeine can often relieve a headache and can even boost the effect of over the counter painkillers. sin embargo, too much caffeine can interrupt sleep and cause different types of headaches. Moderation is key.
- Practice yoga: Whether it is stretching, yoga, meditation, or progressive muscle relaxation, learning how to chill out when you’re in the middle of a headache can help with the pain.
- Limit alcohol: Alcohol can trigger migraines in about one-third of those who experience frequent headaches. It has also been shown to cause tension and cluster headaches in many people.
For people plagued by migraines, it can be frustrating that others don’t suffer from them, leading many to wonder ‘why me’.
Dr Day explained that to answer the ‘why me’ question, genetics need to be considered.
A previous study found that there are 38 regions of the genome that are connected to migraines – meaning that these areas can reveal how each individual is predisposed to migraines.
While this is a factor, there are also identifiable triggers when it comes to a migraine.
Dr Day said: “Common triggers for migraine include poor sleep, excess use of caffeine, missing meals and the use of artificial sweeteners.
“Other risk factors for migraine include obesity, estrés, alcohol consumption, hormonal changes and excessive use of pain medication.
“Individuals with a genetic susceptibility to migraine may continue to experience migraine symptoms if they continue to be exposed to environmental triggers, such as those listed above.”