Should You Ever Go to the ER for a Migraine?

The short answer from a neurologist
migraines, headache, preventative pain, migraine relief

While the pain of a migraine can be very severe, a migraine itself can’t cause something as serious as death. However, in some cases, a migraine might be a sign of a more serious underlying condition, such as a stroke, a hemorrhage or an infection.

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Typically, you should work with your primary care doctor or a migraine specialist to figure out a rescue or preventative plan when it comes to managing your migraines. But there are some red flags that migraine sufferers should watch out for that warrant immediate emergency care.

These red flags include:

  • Having the worst headache of your life that doesn’t respond to or continues to worsen after treatment.
  • Developing a thunderclap headache, which is intensely painful and develops in less than a minute, versus a gradual worsening of a headache over several hours.
  • Having a headache that’s associated with new neurological problems, like weakness on one side of the body, balance problems, dizziness, confusion, loss of vision or slurred speech.

– Neurologist Payal Soni, MD.

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