The Dangers of a Thunderclap Headache


A thunderclap headache hits you like a bolt out of nowhere. It comes very quickly and all of a sudden. It is likely that you do not know that one is coming as it is not as if you have had poor sleep or an injury. Within seconds, your pain will be extremely severe and debilitating. Seeking relief from over the counter medications is futile as they will not be strong and effective enough to stop the pain.

The headache itself can last approximately last a stretch of as many as 11 days in a state that is less severe. A lot of times, this type of headache can be the sign of a more serious problem. In fact, there are some researchers who believe that these headaches are a warning sign that a blood vessel is about to burst inside of your head. It has been found that 50% of those who had bleeding in their brain had a thunderclap headache first.

Your doctor should conduct tests to make sure that there is no medical problem linked to your thunderclap headache. The first test that they should do is a CT scan. This computerized x-ray can see the various sections of your brain. After this test is completed you should have an MRI done. This test uses radio waves and a magnetic field in order to see the structure of your brain. Depending upon what the doctor finds when these tests are completed they may order more testing. One such test is a cerebral angiogram. This test is done in order to look for a cerebral aneurysm. Another test that is done is a spinal tap. This test takes spinal fluid and tests it for abnormalities in white blood count or proteins.

Your doctor is looking for numerous potentially dangerous brain issues. One of these issues is a tear in the membrane around your brain and spinal cord. This may allow for the leakage of spinal fluid. Your doctor should also be looking for any potential bleeding problems in your brain. This includes a ruptured blood vessel, a bulging vessel that is ready to burst, a blood clot or a tear in an artery that leads to the brain. Any of these things are considered potentially dangerous. If your tests confirm any of these things then you will need to have immediate emergency surgery in order to repair the bleeding. Luckily when these things are caught early enough a skillful brain surgeon can correct the flaw.

Females over the age of 45 years old are more prone to thunderclap headaches. Your doctor may prescribe you some medications for these headaches. They are either in the form of nasal sprays or injections. These treatments act instantly to relieve your pain.

Currently, more research is underway about thunderclap headaches. Hopefully, more will be revealed about the nature and cause of this form of debilitating headache.