1. Persistent headaches
Everybody gets headaches now and then. If you’ve had the same pattern of headaches for years, chances are that it’s going to continue that way for years more. But if your headaches are so severe that you miss work or social gatherings, or if over-the-counter painkillers don’t help, see your doctor. There are new treatments now that work well, even for disabling migraines.
If you have an unfamiliar type of headache that’s persisted for three days or longer and is associated with vomiting or visual changes, it could indicate an abnormality in or near the brain, such as a blood clot. If you have an unremitting headache on only one side of your head, near the temple or above the ear, it may be a condition called temporal arteritis. It can be cured with cortisone or steroids, but, left untreated, it can lead to blindness. The most important thing to remember: Any new or extremely painful headache should prompt you to call your doctor.