Is my headache serious? 7 red flag symptoms

Neurologists tell about the warning signs that mean your headache could have a serious underlying cause.

Most people get a headache occasionally, and will normally grin and bear it, or pop a few  painkillers and wait for it to ease. But what if your headache is more than a dull ache and the pain persists? Does it mean you have a serious brain condition?

Probably not, say medical experts. While it’s easy to panic if your head really hurts and the pain won’t go, most headaches are still nothing to worry about, say doctors. But that doesn’t mean they are never a sign of something more concerning – you just need to know what to look for to spot the rare occasions when your head really does need examining.

“Headache is the most prevalent symptom in the general population with 97% of people having suffered from headaches at some stage,” says consultant neurologist Dr Fayyaz Ahmed, a trustee of the International Headache Society. “The good news is that the vast majority – nearly 99% – are benign, which means they don’t have a serious underlying cause.  Only 1% or even less are serious.”

Read more