To Sniffle or not to Sniffle: throbbing headache.

Everyone has experienced a throbbing, pounding headache—minor to severe—at some point in their life. “Oh, you had an important meeting scheduled for this afternoon? Too bad!” says your throbbing headache. Unfortunately, headaches have become such a norm that many people just accept them when they appear and fail to seek medical attention when necessary. Primary physician, Michael Munger, stated that he’s surprised that many of his patients with frequent headaches just “live with it.” But, with 30 to 70 percent regularly suffering from tension headaches, how does a person really know when they should seek further medical attention (or contact a physician through Sniffle)? It’s time to stop these throbbing headaches from taking over our lives!

Let’s take a step back and explore different types of headaches:

  • Tension Headache: This type of headache is the most common, causing minor pain and discomfort. Good news: you can easily treat this headache with over-the-counter medications! The best way to treat this headache is to reduce the stress in your life. Drink some tea, watch a movie, and take some over-the-counter medication to reduce the stress in your life. Although this headache type is usually not chronic, it can still be an inconvenience in your everyday life!
  • Migraine Headache: This throbbing headache produces significant pain and incapacitation to its subjects (the subject can be you). Although over-the-counter medications might help, they are sometimes not potent enough to stop a mighty migraine. This chronic headache can bring sensitivity to light and sound, cause nausea, and induce vomiting. If you’re a woman, you’re more likely to experience this type of headache (sorry)!
  • Cluster Headache: Unlike migraines and tension headaches, cluster headaches will not respond to over-the-counter medications. This throbbing headache usually appears on one side of the head and is stronger than migraines but does not produce nausea. If you’re a man, you’re more likely to experience this type of headache (again, we’re sorry)!

It’s challenging to know when to seek medical attention, primarily if you’re used to chronic headaches! Dr. Jonathan J. Russin, an assistant professor of clinical neurological surgery at USC Neurosciences, mentions that “The classic presentation of an aneurysm is the worst headache of your life.”

You should seek immediate medical attention if you are experiencing the following:

  • Confusion
  • Trouble comprehending speech or speaking
  • Fainting
  • High fever
  • Numbness
  • Weakness or paralysis on one side of your body
  • Stiff neck
  • Trouble seeing
  • Trouble walking
  • Nausea or vomiting

You should schedule an appointment with your doctor (Sniffle doctor) if the following occur:

  • You’re experiencing headaches more frequently
  • The pain is getting more severe
  • Your headache does not improve after taking over-the-counter medication
  • The pain is keeping you from your everyday life (working, errands, sleeping)
  • You would like to learn more about treatment options

To Sniffle or not to Sniffle for a throbbing headache? If you’re experiencing one of the symptoms above or just want guidance with dealing with chronic headaches, we suggest you Sniffle! You never know when a persistent headache can lead to something more serious. Please keep in mind that if you have a symptom in the “seek immediate medical attention” list above, visit an emergency room or dial 911 as soon as possible. On a positive note, if you have less severe symptoms (refer to list above), you can Sniffle!  This means you don’t have to leave your home to visit a doctor (or wait weeks to get an appointment); with Sniffle, you can receive the medical attention you need anytime, anywhere. Don’t wait for your headache to get worse! Sniffle away your throbbing headache today!