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Had thunderclap headache. Should I be worried?

Nov 2013
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Answered by

Practicing since : 1994
Answered : 5570 Questions
I had a thunderclap headache Saturday night, and I don't know whether to be worried or not. I just moved and do not have a family physician.
Posted Thu, 17 Oct 2013 in Headache and Migraines
Answered by Dr. Sudhir Kumar 48 minutes later
Brief Answer:
There is no need to get alrmed

Detailed Answer:

Thank you for posting your query.

If your headache has subsided, there is no need to worry now. However, it would be worthwhile getting a brain CT scan done sometime, to exclude any underlying brain disease, such as aneurysms (abnormal ballon-like dilatation of the brain arteries).

I hope it helps.

Best wishes,
Dr Sudhir Kumar MD DM (Neurology) XXXXXXX Consultant Neurologist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Had thunderclap headache. Should I be worried? 7 minutes later
Thank you, Dr. Kumar! It was so strange. It came on suddenly, almost at an 8 out of 10 all at once. It covered the whole top of my head like a priest's skull cap. It stayed at about an 8 for 5 or 10 minutes, then it completely went away, almost as quickly as it started. I haven't had any residual effects (no blurriness or anything). Could this be caused by sinuses or perhaps shingles? I had shingles about 16 years ago, and it started out as a weird head/neck ache.
Answered by Dr. Sudhir Kumar 5 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Symptoms suggest neuralgia

Detailed Answer:
Thank you for getting back with more details about the symptom.

Yes, the headache duration was too brief for it to be due to any serious underlying cause. Mostly, it is suggestive of a neuralgic pain. Shingles could cause this sort of pain, but 16 year gap is too long. Sinuses would usually cause a longer lasting pain, at least a few hours. Certain cephalalgias are similar, lasting for short duration.

In any case, it is better to do a CT scan some time later, and if symptoms recur, then may be it can be done earlier.

Best wishes,
Dr Sudhir Kumar MD DM (Neurology)

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Had thunderclap headache. Should I be worried? 37 minutes later
Thank you!
Answered by Dr. Sudhir Kumar 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Thank you

Detailed Answer:
Thank you and best wishes,
Dr Sudhir XXXXXXX MD DM (Neurology)
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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