Lady with serious headache

When to Worry About a Headache 

Know when it is time to go to the emergency room for a headache.  

Almost everyone has experienced a headache in their lifetime, and most of us have had them many times before. Usually, a headache is no cause for major concern and will subside after taking over-the-counter painkillers, eating some food, or drinking water, however, sometimes a headache may be a sign of a serious health issue.

When to Worry About a Headache

When a headache goes beyond the usual uncomfortable pain, there may be cause for concern. Here are some reasons you may need to visit a physician for a headache.


Chronic, reoccurring headaches are characterized by 15 or more headaches a month. Sometimes, these headaches are linked to mental health concerns like anxiety and depression. Treating these underlying factors often helps prevent continued reoccurrence.

Alarm Clock

These are headaches that wake you up at the same time with the same pain several nights a week. These headaches are more common in women 50 or older.


When a headache produces throbbing pain localized in one area, it can make daily life difficult. You can help prevent throbbing headaches by learning their triggers.


A persistent headache can last for 24 hours, days, or even months at a time. The pain may worsen or improve, but the headache remains. This type of headache requires advanced treatment, as it may not resolve on its own.

If you are experiencing severe headache pain, Kyle ER & Hospital is here to provide you with 24-hour treatment that will have you feel better quicker.

Type of Headaches

About 45 million Americans complain about a headache each year. There are multiple types of headaches a person may have. They each require different treatments, and some headaches have no defined cause or reason. Here are three types of commonly diagnosed headaches. 

Tension Headaches

This is the most common headache that many describe as feeling like the sides of the head are being squeezed. Tension headaches can be triggered by fatigue, emotional stress, or issues with the neck or jaw muscles. Most of these headaches last 20 minutes to two hours and may subside with over-the-counter pain relievers.

Migraine Headaches

Migraines are typically a more severe type of headache. They are the result of changes in blood flow affecting nerve cell activity. A predisposition to this type of headache may be passed down from generation to generation through genetics. Migraines can be treated with over-the-counter pain relievers, but commonly, prescription pain relievers are used to treat the problem.

Cluster Headaches

Cluster headaches are very uncommon, but symptoms are very severe. The pain is typically on one side of the head with symptoms of a red and watery eye, droopy eyelid, and runny or stuffed nose. The treatment includes increasing oxygen flow rapidly and injections or prescribed medication.

Causes of Serious Headaches

Normally, headaches are caused by an underlying reason. Some common causes are:

  • dehydration
  • muscle tension
  • stress
  • lack of sleep
  • nerve pain
  • fever
  • caffeine withdrawal
  • drinking alcohol
  • eating certain foods
  • toothache
  • hormonal changes or pregnancy

At Kyle ER & Hospital, we provide 24/7 access to advanced treatment to subside most causes and symptoms of severe headaches. From IV therapy for dehydration to onsite advanced imaging and testing for nerve pain, our team of experts get you diagnosed quickly and accurately so you may return to normal everyday life. Get the care you need at your neighborhood emergency room!

Disclaimer: As a service to our readers, Kyle ER & Hospital and Nutex Health state no content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.