A headache is pain or discomfort in the head, scalp, or neck.
Common types of headaches include tension headaches, migraine or cluster headaches, sinus headaches, and headaches that begin in your neck. You may have a mild headache with a cold, the flu, or other viral illnesses when you also have a low fever.
Most people with headaches feel better by making lifestyle changes, such as learning ways to relax. Taking medicines, such as for pain, may also help.
Emergency Causes of Headaches
Problems with blood vessels and bleeding in the brain can cause as a headache. These include:
Abnormal connection between the arteries and veins in the brain that usually forms before birth. This problem is called an arteriovenous malformation, or AVM.
Blood flow to part of the brain stops. This is called a stroke.
Weakening of the wall of a blood vessel that can break open and bleed into the brain. This is known as a brain aneurysm.
Bleeding in the area between the brain and the thin tissue that covers the brain. This is called a subarachnoid hemorrhage
Other causes of headaches that should be checked by a doctor right away include:
Joseph V. Campellone, M.D., Department of Neurology, Cooper University Hospital, Camden, NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.