A sudden, severe headache is not only painful, but it could be a symptom of a bigger health problem. When a headache is something that you can’t get rid of with a little bit of sleep or over-the-counter medication, then it might be necessary to seek medical services right away.
Signs that You Need Medical Care for a Headache
How do you know when you need to go to the emergency room for medical treatment? The idea of visiting an ER might sound intimidating, but don’t be frightened to seek immediate care if you notice certain signs:
- New or Extreme Symptoms: Evaluate your current situation to notice if any new or extreme symptoms are occurring.
- Duration and Severity of Pain: How long has the pain persisted? Is it severe enough to interfere with your daily activities? If the headache or migraine starts abruptly and standard medications don’t touch the pain, then other medical treatments might be needed.
- Other Symptoms: Are you experiencing other symptoms along with the head pain? You should seek immediate medical attention if you have difficulty speaking, slurred speech, paralysis, loss of balance, numbness, persistent vomiting, loss of consciousness, loss of vision, or pain that worsens and doesn’t respond to common at-home relief treatments.
What to Expect During Your ER Visit?
Keep in mind that ER doctors are not specialists in migraines or headaches. But they have medical training to provide immediate treatment that will reduce your suffering and ensure that you aren’t dealing with a serious, life-threatening issue.
An initial exam will be completed, then additional testing might be recommended. For example, it is common to have a CT scan of the head to check for bleeding in the brain. Additionally, medications can be provided to help with immediate pain relief.
If you aren’t already working with a headache specialist, the ER doctor will likely recommend that you schedule a consultation. ER services can be beneficial for immediate results, but these medications don’t address the long-term plan for pain management in the future.
What to Bring to the ER?
If you are heading to the emergency room for a migraine or headache, then you might consider bringing a few items to help with the exam and treatment. For example, if you have any medical records relating to your migraine history, then it can be useful information for the doctor you meet with.
Make sure to bring any current medications with you, as well as any other supplements or treatments you might be using to manage the pain. It can also be helpful to have another person with you to act as an advocate. When you are experiencing severe pain, it can be challenging to think through the treatment decisions that need to be addressed. Your family member or friend can help by asking the right medical questions, tracking instructions provided by the nurses and doctors, and driving you to and from the hospital.
Why iCare ER and Urgent Care?
When medical services are needed, you have the opportunity to choose the clinic that you would like to visit. Vicinity is an important factor in your decision, but you should also consider the experience of the medical staff and the availability of services.
At iCare ER and Urgent Care, we offer a dual-approach with your medical care. Our team is unique because we provide both emergency room and urgent care services. You can have peace of mind in knowing that our team will evaluate your situation to determine the right levels of treatment that are required – helping you avoid paying ER prices if these emergency services aren’t needed. Walk-ins are welcome, or you can call ahead to schedule an appointment. Contact iCare ER and Urgent Care at (214) 407-8668.