What is Thunderclap Headache?

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In their daily life some of people are affected by thunderclap headache because of heavy work pressure at office. It is a worst headache that takes few seconds to reach maximum intensity, which can be extremely dangerous, as well as infectious.

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What is thunderclap headache?

A thunderclap headache can be defined as a headache that starts all of a sudden and one that is extremely severe. This is not a type of a headache that becomes more intense even as time passes. On the contrary, it is highly painful and intense right from the very start. For that matter, it is also described as one of the worst headaches that one may suffer in one’s life. It could also be interpreted as the sign of a condition that can threaten your very life. It could be an indication of the fact that there is bleeding going on in your brain and it could be connected to that as well.

What are its symptoms?

No matter what are the reasons the symptoms of this headache are fairly common.

    • You normally get a severe pain in your head that starts just out of the blue.
    • You experience nausea and feel like vomiting.
    • You could faint as well.
    • Apart from that, you also feel like it is the worst headache you have ever suffered in your life.
    • During this headache, you feel pain everywhere in your head.
    • The headache pain could extend to your lower back and neck as well.

It may or may not have any trigger as such.

Comparison with a migraine

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In most cases, there is no similarity between the two. However, it has commonly been seen that people who have experienced thunderclap headaches have had a history of severe migraine as well. It is the extent of the pain that happens to be the biggest point of difference between the two. Without any doubt, the pain that you feel with this type of headache is the worst you have ever felt in that respect. This stands true even if you have experienced migraines earlier. Such a headache can feel pretty similar to a crash migraine as well.

Why does it happen?

In most cases, a thunderclap headache indicates that you are suffering from some kind of subarachnoid hemorrhage. This is basically a medical term that indicates that there is bleeding in your brain. If it is not treated within a short span of time it can threaten your life as well. The commonest cause of such bleeding is when an aneurysm in your brain gets ruptured. There are some other critical reasons in this case as well. It may be that a blood vessel in your brain has been torn, ruptured, or blocked.

How to treat them?

When it comes to treating this headache first you need to determine why it is happening. After your doctor gets information about your symptoms and evaluates you physically a CT (computed tomography) scan will be prescribed. More often than not your doctor would be able to determine the reason with the help of a CT scan. However, if your doctor does not get enough information from it she or he will prescribe more tests to be conducted. Some of these tests are magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), magnetic resonance angiography (MRA), and a lumbar puncture test.

Related complications and conditions

There are many reasons as to why a thunderclap headache happens and if they are not treated immediately they can be life-threatening as well. Conditions that may be associated with this kind of headache include strokes, head injury, migraine, and high blood pressure. This is the reason why it is so essential that you seek medical help as soon as you experience such a critical condition the first time itself. In fact, if you experience a sudden headache of any kind you should definitely contact your doctor and get treated. More often than not such a headache is a sign of some serious ailment.


In case you get medical help as soon as you experience such a condition there is a high possibility that your situation can be managed and treated in a really effective way. However, if you delay availing medical treatment it can prove to be fatal for you as well. Even if you have a history of regular migraines you should still get in touch with your doctor when you experience such a headache. This is especially so when the pain is worse than what you have ever felt in your life.

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