Stroke severe headache | Stroke sudden headache

Without even a blink of an eye, we all agree on the fact that a stroke is a medical emergency. However, a majority of people don’t know the fact that a stroke is associated with a sudden and severe headaches. You should also know that a headache is not always associated with a stroke.

Considering the fact that stroke is a medical emergency, you must understand the associated symptoms with it. We must also be able to distinguish between different types of strokes and also stroke-related headaches. Let us try to understand how it is different from a primary headache.

Types of Strokes

When it comes to, we see two types: Ischemic Stroke and the other one Haemorrhagic stroke. Both these types are medical emergencies and both may cause a headache.

When the blood supply to a part of the brain is blocked, a stroke occurs.

Ischemic stroke – In this type of stroke, the blood supply to the brain stops due to a blockage in the artery that supplies oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to the brain. Restricted blood supply causes brain cell death.

Haemorrhagic Stroke – An artery in the brain bursts and results in a haemorrhagic stroke. The reason could be a weakness in the artery or high blood pressure. When this happens, internal bleeding occurs in the brain. For example – a subarachnoid Haemorrhage is a haemorrhagic stroke. A severe headache is the only symptom for about a third of people with this type of stroke.

How to Know that a Headache is Due to a Stroke?

Severe stroke headache: Many people who experience a headache with stroke often describe their headache as the worst in their life. Therefore, if it is the worst and extremely severe, debilitating headache of your life, then never ignore it as it could be due to a stroke. Some people describe their headache as a “THUNDERCLAP” – Which is very severe. They often say that their extremely severe headache has come within minutes or seconds. Therefore, it is now quite clear that a headache due to stroke does not develop gradually or feel like pulsating or throbbing – rather it comes fast and hard.

Severe Stroke Headache Vs. Migraine

When you have a migraine headache, you may feel heightened or augmented sensations – such as tingling skin, unusual taste in the mouth, watery eyes, flashing lights and auras. By contrast, if you have a stroke-related headache – the symptoms you may experience are quite contrasting – such as loss of vision, sensations and feelings.

What are the other symptoms of a severe stroke headache?

If you experience a sudden, fast and hard-hitting headache – which seems to be the worst ever headache in your life – the following associated symptoms strongly suggest that your headache could be due to a stroke – a medical emergency condition:

  • Blurred vision or double vision or loss of vision
  • Difficulty speaking simple words
  • Slurred speech
  • Weakness or numbness on one side of the body
  • Numbness or weakness in the arms
  • Inability in raising hands up
  • Loss of balance or vertigo
  • Difficulty understanding others
  • Inability to write or manage fine hand movements

Bottom line

Remember – Never ignore your headaches if they are severe! If you think that this is the severe stroke headache or worst ever headache of your life – just like a thunderclap (very severe headache) – immediately seek emergency medical care as it can be a life-threatening stroke.