Sinus headaches and migraines are also commonly confused. In fact, the majority of sinus headaches are actually migraines. According to a 2007 study in Headache, 63 percent of patients who self-diagnosed themselves as having a sinus headache were actually experiencing a migraine.
When to See Your Doctor
While the majority of headaches or migraines are nothing to worry about, there are some warning signs which may indicate your head pain is something more serious.
A headache that is associated with new neurological symptoms like numbness, weakness (like difficulty walking or dropping things), or difficulty speaking could indicate a serious condition like a stroke. In this instance, be sure to get medical attention right away.
Vision changes that are not typical of your migraine auras (or if new for you) need emergent medical attention as well. Thunderclap headaches—severely painful headaches that are often described as the worst headache of your life—can indicate a potentially fatal brain bleed and need emergent care.
Other clues that warrant a doctor’s eye are if your headaches are associated with worrisome whole-body symptoms like night sweats, fevers, weight loss, body aches, or extreme fatigue. A new headache or one that is following a different pattern (like becoming more frequent) is a good hint that you need a doctor’s evaluation.
A Word From Verywell
Migraines are complex brain disorders that are associated with a variety of symptoms unique to an individual. This diversity of symptoms is a big reason why experts are still puzzled over the precise origin of migraine development.
That being said, the good news is that migraine research is continuously evolving—this means even better medications and therapies (both preventive and therapeutic) are on the horizon.