A headache is one of the most common disorders of the central nervous system. Everyone has suffered a headache at some point in their lives. Many people deal with them quite often.
They strike quietly and without warning, affecting your mood and diminishing your energy. The frequency and intensity of headaches differ from person to person.Headache disorders are of three types:
Here are some of the warning signs that indicate your headache could be dangerous:
Progressive Headache with One-Sided Numbness and Weakness
The heart pumps blood up to the brain through the arteries. After it is utilized by the brain for basic functions, the brain returns the blood back to the heart through channels called venous sinuses.
Often, these sinuses get clogged, causing a condition called cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT), which could lead to an accumulation of blood, and subsequent bleeding in and around the brain. This is a major cause of strokes.
Headache with Neck & Face Pain
The carotid arteries are the four arteries along the sides of your neck delivering blood from your heart to your neck, face, ears and head.
Often, one of those arteries may suffer a tear, allowing blood to enter and fill up space between the different layers of the arteries. This separates them. This is called carotid artery dissection (CAD).
As the blood accumulates, it clots and prevents the flow of fresh blood from the heart to the brain. Eventually, this leads to a stroke.
Headache after Risky Sexual Behavior
Headaches are the primary and most persistent symptom of HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus.
Out of 131 patients with primary HIV, 45.8 percent reported tension-associated headaches, 16 percent reported migraines and 6.1 percent reported other types of headaches, according to a 2000 study published in Pain.
If you suffer from primary headaches like migraines and tension headaches, they may not signify any underlying illness, or they may indicate that HIV is in its initial stages.
Headache for the First Time after Age 50
As you grow older, you become more susceptible to contracting diseases and disorders.
A person 50 or older, who does not have a history of headaches or migraines, experiencing a sharp headache for the first time must seek immediate medical help.
It could indicate giant cell arteritis, a brain tumor or the progression of some other type of tumor to the brain.
Therefore, headaches that occur after age 50 could be indicative of neurological disorders and could be life threatening.