When to hit the panic button


Many of us will imagine the worst when headache strikes. The most frequent fears are that the headache signals a brain tumor or a stroke. Sometimes, majority of headache comes out with relatively “innocent” causes, such as tension. However, it can be a symptom for serious disorder, in some cases, so you should seek medical advice, regardless of whether you think it is serious or not. In general, it is crucial to consult your doctor if your headache do not disappear more than 24 hours and/or does not response to painkiller or prescribed medication.

Here are some possible outcomes by headache symptom attack.


Brain tumour

A brain tumor is a mass growing in the brain whether benign or malignant (cancerous). Treatment usually involves surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy to remove or shrink the tumor.

Headache is a symptom of brain tumor  but not all tumor sufferer will experience them. A tumor won’t cause headache until it has grown large enough to put pressure on arteries in the brain. In some areas of the brain, a tumor can grow quite large before causing such pressure, if any, but headache strikes sooner or later with most tumors  The pain usually strikes in the same place, is worse in the morning, is not exceptionally severe (often not as painful as migraine), and may increase with straining (coughing or sneezing).

It is particularly suspicious if such headaches strike someone normally headache-free, if the pain is increasing steadily, or if the usual pattern of headache changes. Other worrying symptoms include signs of neurological damage, such as:

  • Drowsiness

  • Blurred vision

  • Weakness or numbness of limbs

  • Loss of balance

  • Sudden changes of personality or behavior

  • Slurred speech

However, these sufferer should order a CAT scan – an X-ray for brain – to check for tumor  But, it is very little chances people with headache turn out to have brain tumor.


It is caused by blockage (thrombosis) or hemorrhage of blood vessel in the brain, interrupting the blood supply to the brain and damaging it. This damage depends on which of brain the stroke occurs in:

–          If in the left side of the brain

Speech impaired would be occur.

–          If the right side of the brain

Other disabilities would be occur such as paralysis.

Many stroke victims suffer no headache at all, maybe in about one out of three would be experienced. If the stroke is caused by a hemorrhage, pain and stiffness maybe felt in the neck and head. If caused by a clot blocking the artery, the victim may experience headache in the back or side of the head. Other warning signals to watch out for include:

  • Pins and needles down one side of the body

  • Paralysis or weakness of one side of the face or body

  • Dizziness

  • Blurred vision

  • Loss balance

  • Confusion or drowsiness

The symptoms of migraine are sometimes confused with stroke. Migraine sufferer who find their symptoms increased by the contraceptive pill may be advised to find another form of contraception, as there is an increased risk of stroke associated with the pill.

So, prolonged headache victim should seek doctor advise to prevent the worst disorder in future. There is no, no situation in this circumstance, as an idiom said, “prevention is better than cure”.

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