While most headaches will go away on their own a headache can be a symptom of a serious condition. Stroke, meningitis or encephalitis can start with headaches but they do not get better, can be accompanied with weakness or paralysis and sometimes fever and stiff neck. Call your doctor, seek medical help, go to the hospital emergency room or call 911 or your local emergency number if you have the worst headache of your life, a sudden, severe headache or a headache accompanied by:
- Confusion or trouble understanding speech
- High fever, greater than 102 F to 104 F (39 C to 40 C)
- Numbness, weakness or paralysis on one side of your body
- Stiff neck
- Trouble seeing
- Trouble speaking
- Trouble walking
- Nausea or vomiting (if not clearly related to the flu or a hangover).
Remember early care results in better outcomes.