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When Should You Go To The ER For A Migraine?

When Should You Go To The ER For A Migraine?

Did you know that headaches are one of the most common reasons for emergency room visits? For some people, it could be chronic migraines. Others might be alarmed by the onset of a painful headache. Then, there are those who would rather stay at home and deal with the pain on their own. But is there ever a time when you should, without a doubt, go to the ER for a migraine?

The answer is yes.

Any time a new symptom develops, such as a fever, weakness in the limbs, a vision loss or double vision, and confusion are usually the most disconcerting symptoms. If you have a migraine alongside one of the above mentioned symptoms, or if you have a life-threatening problem such as liver or heart disease, then you may have to go to the ER.

Another instance where you need to visit the emergency room would be if the headache or migraine lasts for a long period of time. Over time, you might reach that point where you can no longer tolerate the pain.

When you visit the ER, be sure to tell the staff:

  • Your symptoms, including anything usual or new,
  • Any medications that you are on or have used over the past couple of days,
  • If you have been to the ER before for similar symptoms and what worked for you.

While you visit the emergency room, the doctors may order a CT scan or a spinal tap to ensure you don’t have bleeding in the brain, suffered a stroke, or meningitis.

Preventative management is key to dealing with headaches and migraines. Sometimes that means you need to visit the emergency room. Be sure to develop a long-term plan with an outpatient doctor who can help you work through headaches. Have a good medication that can lessen the pain and help prevent ER visits in the future.

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