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Health A-Z

Medical Content Created by the Faculty of the
Harvard Medical School

When to Call A Doctor

If you have a history of migraine, you should contact your doctor if you develop headaches that differ from your usual headache or other migraine symptoms. Examples include:

  • Headaches that get worse over time

  • New onset of migraine in a person over age 40

  • Severe headaches that start suddenly (often known as thunderclap headaches)

  • Headaches that worsen with exercise, sexual intercourse, coughing or sneezing

  • Headaches with unusual symptoms such as passing out, loss of vision, or difficulty walking or speaking

  • Headaches that start after a head injury

In addition, you may want to see your health care professional if you have headaches that do not get better with over-the-counter medications; severe headaches that interrupt work or the enjoyment of daily activities; or daily headaches.

Page 7 of 9     Next Page:  Migraine Prognosis
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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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