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Random sharp headaches

Dear Ask The Doctor:
Im worried about the pains that are in my head. There are random sharp pains that come every now and then. When they come it just be random and sharp. It might happened up to 3 times a day every other day and don't come back for months. I ham very worried about what it can me. I worry because my memory not was good anymore. What could be going on with me. I been having this pain on and off for many years now. When I was younger I hit my head on concrete and I'm clumsy so I have hit my head numerous of time over my 21 years. Could you let me know what it might be?


The random sharp pains could be a lot of things. Things to watch out for in those with headaches are sudden onset, severe headache, if accompanied w/ fever and/or seizures and/or neck stiffness, new headache onset at age >50 y.o., headache upon waking up, worse with physical activity, among others. If you did hit your head numerous times as a child, the likelihood that there is a serious complication is slim. A condition called chronic subdural hematoma is rare but can happen even in mild head trauma; some patients don’t even remember hitting their head. Headache is also a symptom of this condition but other symptoms (inattentiveness, difficulty walking, seizures, slowed thinking, etc) will usually develop over time. Sinusitis may also present with a chronic headache; in some instances there is no history of nasal congestion. I strongly suggest you have it checked by a doctor because for all you know, it could just be a tension or migraine headache. A simple physical and neurologic exam by a doctor can tell a lot of things. Even if these are benign conditions, you still need to be checked to make sure there is no other life-threatening, serious underlying condition causing your headache. I do hope this helps and take care always.

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