What Causes Severe Headaches? Top 10 Diseases That Causes Headache

By on October 21, 2015

Do you suffer from severe headaches or wondering what causes severe headaches? There are a number of medical conditions and diseases that can be related to sever headaches.

These conditions might either be the symptom or the cause of a severe headache or they might be a condition for which an individual might be at an increased risk of suffering from severe headaches.

Severe headaches generally result from the signals that interact between the blood vessels, the surrounding nerves and the brain. Headaches occurring all of a sudden are due to a certain illness, fever, cold or infection.

So What Causes Severe Headaches?

Let us have a look at the diseases which shows the symptom of severe headache.

What Causes Severe Headaches

Dengue Fever

This is a disease which is caused by a certain group of viruses transmitted by mosquitoes. Dengue fever is a serious illness with symptoms like fever, severe joint and muscle pain, exhaustion, rash, swollen lymph nodes and most importantly severe headaches.

Infections of the Upper Respiratory Tract

Upper respiratory tract infections are considered one of the most common causes of severe headaches. These infections can happen at almost any time but they are generally more common during the winter and fall. Other symptoms of these infections include nasal discharge, fever, sneezing and runny nose.

Sinus Infections

Sinus infections are the cause of infections from pathogenic microorganisms like fungus, bacterium and virus. These grow within the sinus and result in the intermittent blockage of sinus ostium. Severe headaches are one of the most common symptoms of sinus infections.

Cough and Cold

Severe headaches can also be caused in an individual if the individual suffers from severe cough and cold. However, the headache is likely to subside by taking some effective medicines.


Migraine is one the most common diseases, in which severe headache is experienced. This is a neurological disease, in which patient experiences moderate to severe headache that may last from 2 hours to 72 hours. Along with severe headache, symptoms like vomiting, nausea, sensitivity to sound and light are also experienced.

Subarachnoid Hemorrhage

Subarachnoid hemorrhage in short known as SAH is simple terms can be explained as hemorrhage i.e. bleeding in Subarachnoid area of brain. The main cause of Subarachnoid hemorrhage ruptured cerebral aneurysm or head injury.

The most common symptom of Subarachnoid hemorrhage is severe headache. This headache is accompanied with vomiting, seizures, and confusion.

Trigeminal Neuralgia

Trigeminal neuralgia is also known as Fothergill’s disease, or prosopalgia. This is a neuropathic disorder in which the patient experiences intense pain in various parts of face such as forehead, nose, eyes, ears, scalp, lips, cheeks, mouth, jaws,etc.


A person with Meningitis will also show symptoms of severe headache. Meningitis is actually acute inflammation of meninges, which is the protective membrane that covers a person’s brain and spinal cord. This disease is generally caused by virus or bacterial attack.

But, it is important to note that this is life threatening disease. Therefore, there is a need for seeking immediate medical attention.

Temporal Arteritis

Temporal arteritis is also known as cranial arteritis, or Gaint-cell arteritis. This disease is characterized by inflammation in large and medium arteries in head. These arteries are mostly from external carotid artery and sometimes in ophthalmic artery.

Along with headaches, symptoms such as fever, bruits, pain in tongue or jaw while chewing, experiencing tenderness on scalp, blurred vision, double vision, sudden blindness, and tinnitus are also experienced. This is diseases, which needs proper medical attention otherwise it can result into permanent blindness or ischemia.

Brain Tumors

Brain tumors can either be benign or malignant. However, they can result in severe headaches that become completely uncontrollable and can even result in the patient getting unconscious. Brain tumor patients also experience vomiting and nausea weeks before headache starts.

Photo Credits: Mirror.co.uk

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