Pseudotumor cerebri, a process affecting the brain that appears to be -- but is not -- a tumor. It is often reversible.
A swollen, inflamed artery (which supplies blood to part of the head, temple, and neck area) called temporal arteritis
When to Call the Doctor
Take the following symptoms seriously. If you cannot see your health care provider right away, go to the emergency room or call 911 when:
This is the first headache you have ever had in your life and it interferes with your daily activities.
You develop a headache just after activities such as weightlifting, aerobics, jogging, or sex.
Your headache comes on suddenly and is explosive or violent.
You would describe your headache as "your worst ever," even if you regularly get headaches.
You also have slurred speech, a change in vision, problems moving your arms or legs, loss of balance, confusion, or memory loss with your headache.
Your headache gets worse over a 24-hour period.
You also have fever, stiff neck, nausea, and vomiting with your headache.
Your headache occurs with a head injury.
Your headache is severe and just in one eye, with redness in that eye.
You are over age 50 and your headaches just began, especially if you also have vision problems and pain while chewing.
You have cancer and develop a new headache.
See your health care provider soon if:
Your headaches wake you up from sleep.
A headache lasts more than a few days.
Headaches are worse in the morning.
You have a history of headaches but they have changed in pattern or intensity .
You have headaches often, and there is no known cause.
Digre KB. Headaches and other head pain. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 405.
Luc Jasmin, MD, PhD, Department of Neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, and Department of Anatomy at UCSF, San Francisco, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.