Primary and Secondary Headaches
There are two main types of headaches, namely primary and secondary. A primary headache has no other underlying condition or illness that causes it. It is just a headache. However a secondary headache is caused by illnesses, trauma, or brain disorders. Although both primary and secondary headaches can be equally excruciating, secondary headaches can be fatal.
There are a number of conditions that could cause secondary headaches including bacterial or viral meningitis, strokes, brain infections, tumours or haemorrhages. According to a study published in Cephalalgia the International Journal of Headache, headaches are one of the first symptoms prevalent in 47.6% of patients with brain tumours.
In light of this it is plain to see why anyone suffering a sudden onset of headache or persistent headaches should take these warning signs seriously and identify the specific factors behind the recurring headache and rule out any potentially fatal conditions.
For further reading see our post on Migraine versus Meningitis as well as an interesting paper discussing the essence of migraine pain Migraine – Blood vessels or Brain.