Thunderclap Headache: A Severe And Explosive Headache By Dr. Rajnish Kumar



Thunderclap headache, as the name suggests it strikes suddenly like a “clap of thunder”. The thunderclap pain does not get severe gradually, it gets intense and very painful within a minute and lasts for around 5 minutes.


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Thunderclap Headache:



A thunderclap headache, it is not only a simple headache, but it can also be a sign of a condition that can be life-threatening. It may be connected to bleeding in your brain. It’s necessary to go for medical help if you think you may be experiencing one. It is not always necessary the pain is due to any life-threatening cause but should still be checked immediately to find out what’s causing it.

Know the Symptoms of Thunderclap Headache:



It is a dramatic kind of headache. The symptoms of the same include pain that:



  • Strikes suddenly and severely


  • Peaks within 60 seconds


  • Can be accompanied by nausea or vomiting


This headache might be accompanied by some other signs and symptoms, which include:


  • Altered mental state




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Causes of Thunderclap Headache



Actually, there is not any certain cause for some thunderclap headaches. In other cases, a variety of potentially life-threatening conditions might be responsible, such as:


  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage: Bleeding between the brain and membranes covering the brain.



  • A tear or hole in the lining of an artery which supplies blood to the brain.


  • Leaking of Cerebrospinal Fluid: Generally due to a tear of the covering around a nerve root in the spine.


  • Bleeding in the pituitary gland or death of tissue.


  • A blood clot in the brain.


  • Severe elevation in blood pressure (hypertensive crisis).


  • Infection such as meningitis or encephalitis.




Can thunderclap headaches be prevented? Well, it is difficult to prevent thunderclap headaches because they come on without any warning. Managing underlying health conditions and avoiding triggers are the best ways to keep them from occurring. If you have high blood pressure or vascular problems, it is important to work with your doctor to follow a regular treatment plan.



Maintaining an active lifestyle and healthy diet helps keep blood pressure from rising to levels that could cause a condition involving a thunderclap headache. In addition, quitting smoking and controlling cholesterol levels can help reduce the risk of blood vessel problems.





A thunderclap headache is a kind of headache which triggers spontaneously and severely. It can cause due to different life-threating problems. So, don’t avoid it and visit your doctor as soon as you feel any trouble.



About Dr. Rajnish Kumar Dr. Rajnish Kumar has more than 19 years of experience in Neurology. He has been trained in the Department of Neurology at A.I.I.M.S. and Safdarjung Hospital. To Visit, you can book an appointment online.


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