A patient should seek medical emergency treatment for head pain if fever, fainting, stiff neck or stroke symptoms are present, according to the Mayo Clinic. A change in the pattern or severity of headaches warrants an appointment with a doctor.
An individual who has head pain and is having trouble speaking or walking; experiences weakness, numbness or paralysis on one side of his body; suffers vision disturbances; or has seizures or other neurological symptoms needs immediate medical care, WebMD notes. Accident- or injury-induced headaches are also emergencies, as are headaches after age 55 in someone who has never experienced that type before.
Frequent or worsening headaches requiring regular over-the-counter treatment aren't emergencies, but they should be evaluated by a physician.