Health Library

Quick Dose: When is a Migraine Cause for Concern?

Main Article Content

For some people, migraines are triggered by stress, certain foods, fluctuations in hormones and even allergies. If you get enough of them, you know what’s normal for you. However, some headaches could be signaling that something more serious is going on, so it’s important to take note of new patterns, a change in the intensity of your headaches or recurring headaches that won’t go away.

Seek immediate care if:

• It’s the first severe headache you’ve ever had, and it comes on suddenly
• The headache intensifies and gets worse over 24 hours
• You experience slurred speech or change in vision
• You have problems moving your arms or legs
• You lose a sense of balance or experience vertigo
• You are confused or have memory loss with your headache
• The headache is severe in just one eye, with redness in that eye
• You have a fever, stiff neck or vomiting

Headaches can be debilitating, and deserve the attention of a neurologist or headache specialist for a thorough evaluation.

Bassel Kazkaz, MD, neurologist,
Northwestern Medicine Regional Medical Group

Interested in connecting more to the Northwestern Medicine community? Sign up for the Healthy Tips E-Newsletter for everything from health and wellness ideas to patient breakthroughs to academic and medical advancements. Because what makes you better, makes us better.