How Long Do Headaches Last? Know When to Visit Urgent Care

A woman in a light pink t-shirt lays on the couch wincing as she grabs her forehead with both hands and closes her eyes.

Nearly everyone will experience a headache in their lifetime. For most, it will just feel like a bump in the road during a busy day, while for others, chronic or long-lasting migraines can be detrimental to the health and wellness of their daily lives.

At Emerald Coast Urgent Care, we know that chronic or persistent headaches can cause a world of trouble in your life. We don’t think you should live with frequent migraines, especially if they last for extended periods. We are here to get to the bottom of your headache pain sooner so that you can put your best foot forward with a clear mind and a pain-free head.

Our urgent care facility is open seven days a week to diagnose and treat your headache pain; just walk in.

What is a headache?

A headache is a painful sensation that affects the head, neck, and face. It can range in severity and pain type from mild to severe and dull to sharp, depending on exactly why you are experiencing it. Most headaches are caused by increased agitation in the nerves, blood vessels and muscles.

How long do headaches last?

The length of your headache varies depending on the type of headache you are experiencing and the root cause of it.

Most tension headaches, the most common type, last about 4 hours. Migraines, a more severe form of headache, can last up to 24 hours or longer.

If you are experiencing a mild to moderate headache, we recommend taking an over-the-counter pain reliever to ease symptoms. If your headache persists for over 4 hours or worsens as time goes on, we highly recommend visiting an urgent care center for further evaluation.

What causes headaches?

Headaches are often caused by health and lifestyle experiences with no tie to other serious underlying conditions.

The most common cause of headaches are:

  • Lack of sleep
  • Caffeine withdrawal
  • Stress
  • Loud noises
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Tight headwear
  • Extended screen time
  • Incorrect glasses or contact lens prescription
  • Anxiety
  • Allergies

In rare cases, headaches are a symptom of an underlying condition that requires immediate medical attention, especially if you are experiencing other, more worrisome symptoms.

What symptoms should I be concerned with?

A common headache typically causes mild to moderate pain in the head, neck and face. If your pain becomes severe, you should seek medical care quickly.

Headaches are classified as “severe” if you also experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Sharp, sudden or intense pain in the head or neck
  • A stiff neck
  • A high fever (over 102)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • A nosebleed
  • Fainting
  • Loss of balance
  • Dizziness
  • Pressure in the back of your head
  • Pain that wakes you from sleep
  • Blurred vision
  • Face tingling
  • Confusion
  • Droopiness on one side of your face
  • Weakness on one side of your body
  • Slurred speech
  • Difficulty walking
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Night sweats
  • Seizures
  • Facial swelling
  • A bump on your head

These symptoms could correlate to more severe health issues such as:

  • Severe dehydration
  • Tooth or gum infection
  • High blood pressure
  • Cancer
  • Meningococcal disease
  • A brain tumor, aneurysm, or hemorrhage
  • A stroke
  • Concussion
  • Severe head trauma due to a direct blow to the head or neck
  • Heatstroke
  • Preeclampsia in pregnant women

When to visit Emerald Coast Urgent Care

If your headache symptoms do not improve within a few hours or worsen as time goes on, you should visit Emerald Coast Urgent Care today for further diagnosis and treatment for your persistent headache. Your health and life could depend on immediate care.

We welcome walk-in appointments seven days a week to help you feel better sooner by relieving your headache. Don’t delay; walk in today.

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