When to Call a Doctor
Call 911 or other emergency services if:
- You have symptoms of a stroke, such as:
- Sudden numbness, tingling, weakness, or loss of movement in your face, arm, or leg, especially on only one side of your body.
Sudden vision changes.
- Sudden trouble speaking.
- Sudden confusion or trouble understanding simple statements.
- Sudden problems with walking or balance.
- A sudden, severe headache that is different from past headaches.
Call your doctor now or go to the emergency room if:
- You have a fever and a
- You have new nausea and vomiting, or you cannot keep
food or liquids down.
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to
contact your doctor if:
- Your headache wakes you up at
- Your headaches get worse or happen more
- You start to have new symptoms.
- You have any
problems with your medicine.
- You have new or more frequent
- Your headaches occur after physical exercise, sexual
activity, coughing, or sneezing.
- Your life is disrupted by your
headaches (for example, you miss work or school regularly).
Watchful waiting is a wait-and-see
approach. If your headache gets better on its own, you won't need treatment. If
it gets worse or you get headaches often, you and your
doctor will decide what to do next.
Watchful waiting and using
over-the-counter pain medicines work well if
your tension headaches don't keep you from doing
the things you want to do. But if your headaches are
disrupting your life, talk to your doctor about other treatments that you could
Who to see
Most health professionals can recognize
and treat tension headaches. You may seek treatment from any of the
If you think that your headaches are caused by
anxiety, talk to your doctor. Treating
these problems may help reduce how bad your headaches are and how
often you get them.
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Colin Chalk, MD, CM, FRCPC - Neurology
July 7, 2011
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This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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