What are red flag signs for headache?
Red flags are concerning symptoms that need further investigation. See your physician if you have any red flag signs.
Headache red flags:
Systemic symptoms: fever, chills, immunocompromised condition, infection, muscle aches, night sweats, weight loss, pregnancy, postpartum, cancer
Neurologic symptoms: double vision, impaired consciousness, pulsatile ringing in the ears, seizures, confusion.
Onset: occurs intensely within a few minutes like a “thunderclap” headache.
Older: Headaches starting after age 50
Progression: If there is a change in headache features, pattern or severity over time.
Precipitated by bearing down (like with a bowel movement or sit-ups)
Worse with lying down.
Swelling of the optic nerve with headache (seen by eye doctor)
Headaches worsen with exercise