Emergency Medical Facility

Chest Pain


Each year in the United States, millions of men and women head to the emergency room with chest pain. While most are worried that they may be having a heart attack, only about two in five of these emergency visits end with this particular diagnosis. The team of board-certified physicians at My Emergency Room 24/7 in San Marcos, Texas has the experience and expertise it takes to diagnose and treat chest pain quickly and accurately. If you or someone in your family is experiencing chest pain, come in for an emergency, no-wait evaluation any time.

Chest Pain Q & A

What causes chest pain?

Chest pain is any type of pain or general discomfort you feel along the front side of your body in the area between your upper abdomen and neck. Any organ or tissue in your chest can cause chest pain, including your heart, lungs, esophagus, muscles, tendons, ribs, or nerves.

Pain that originates in your chest can radiate up your neck, into your jaw, and then back down into one or both of your arms. Similarly, pain that originates elsewhere in your body, including your neck, abdomen, or back, can radiate or spread into your chest.

Heart-related causes of chest pain include:

  • Heart attack
  • Angina, or poor blood flow to the heart
  • Aortic dissection, or a tear in the wall of the artery
  • Pericarditis, or inflammation

Lung-related causes of chest pain include:

  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Pulmonary embolism, or a blood clot in the lung
  • Pneumothorax, or a collapsed lung
  • Pleurisy, or inflammation

Other common causes of chest pain include:

  • Heartburn or acid reflux
  • Panic attacks or anxiety
  • Stomach ulcers or gastritis
  • Gallstones or pancreatitis
What does heart-related chest pain feel like?

Besides having many potential causes, chest pain can take different forms, ranging from a dull, general ache to a crushing, burning, or stabbing pain.

Many people who have had heart attacks describe feeling vague discomfort rather than distinct or pronounced pain. Chest pain that’s caused by a heart attack or another heart problem is generally associated with one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Chest pain that lasts for a while and gets worse with activity
  • Chest pain that comes and goes and varies in intensity
  • Intense chest pain that radiates into your back, neck, jaw, shoulders, and one or both arms
  • Pressure, tightness, or squeezing in your chest

People who have heart-related chest pain may also experience shortness of breath, cold sweats, dizziness, weakness, and nausea or vomiting.

When does chest pain require emergency medical care?

If you’re experiencing chest pain, call 9-1-1 or have someone else drive you to My Emergency Room 24/7 as soon as possible. Since chest pain can point to a life-threatening problem, immediate medical care can be life-saving.

The team at My Emergency Room 24/7 usually tests for a heart attack first by performing an electrocardiogram (ECG) and a blood test that checks for elevated levels of proteins and enzymes that are normally found in your heart muscle.

If you’re having a heart attack, the team at My Emergency Room 24/7 can help determine the underlying cause of your discomfort and ease your pain with personalized treatment.

Some of the first tests the doctor may order include:

Electrocardiogram (ECG). This test records the electrical activity of you hear. Because injured heart muscle doesn’t conduct electrical impulses normally, the ECG may show that you have had or are having a heart attack.

Blood tests – Blood test to check for increased levels of certain proteins or enzymes normally found in the heart muscle may indicate damaged heart muscle as they can leak into the blood stream.

Chest X-Ray – An X-ray of your chest allows doctors to check the condition and size of your heart and major blood vessels. A chest X-Ray can also reveal lung problems such as pneumonia.

Other imaging such as a CT scan can spot a blood clot or make sure you are not having a more serious condition.

In an emergency room setting, the first rule of order is to rule out a potentially life-threatening cardiac event, namely acute coronary syndrome with or without myocardial infraction (heart attack). Diagnosis is important since rapid and aggressive treatment can be necessary to avoid permanent cardiac damage. My Emergency Room 24/7 is available every day of the week 24 hours a day. A prompt visit to My Emergency Room located at 2810 I-H 35 Frontage Road can help stabilize and even save a life should you experience chest pains.

Emergency Medical Facility

Broken Bones

Every year, more than one million people in the United States suffer from a broken bone or fracture. While underlying bone conditions, like osteoporosis, cause some broken bones, most fractures are sustained during an accident, fall, or other types of trauma. The team of board-certified physicians at My Emergency Room 24/7 in San Marcos, Texas provides comprehensive care, including on-site X-rays, for simple fractures, as well as complex breaks. If you think you’ve broken a bone, come in for an immediate injury assessment.

Broken Bones Q & A

What causes broken bones?

The severity of a bone fracture usually depends on the intensity of the force that caused it. A force that’s only a tad higher than a bone’s flexibility range may cause a minor hairline fracture, while excessive force can shatter the bone.

Most bone fractures are caused by:

  • Trauma: The majority of broken bones are the result of physical trauma, which is often sustained during a car accident, in a slip-and-fall accident, or on the sports field.

  • Overuse: Repetitive motions that fatigue your muscles can put added pressure on your bones, which may ultimately lead to a stress fracture. Athletes and fitness enthusiasts are more prone to overuse fractures.

  • Osteoporosis: This age-related bone condition makes bones weaker and more prone to fractures, even during normal activities.

What are the two main types of bone fractures?

No matter what their cause, all bone fractures fall into one of two main categories:

  • Simple fractures: This category includes all fractures that don’t penetrate the skin, ranging from hairline cracks to full breaks. A simple fracture can be difficult to diagnose without an X-ray because it sometimes feels like a severe sprain or a pulled muscle.

  • Compound fractures: Compound fractures, also known as open fractures, occur when a broken bone penetrates the skin and exposes the bone and surrounding tissues.

How are broken bones treated?

Acute bone fracture care begins with a careful examination and X-ray imaging, which provides clear pictures of your bones and joints. The providers at My Emergency Room 24/7 have an on-site X-ray machine to ensure a quick and accurate diagnosis so you can get the treatment you need quickly.

Whether you have a simple hairline fracture or a painful compound break, acute fracture care follows one basic rule; your bone must be set back into position for it to heal correctly.

For hairline fractures and clean breaks, a splint or a cast usually accomplishes that. More complex breaks often require surgical repair using screws, rods, plates, or pins to hold the bone in place.

How long does it take broken bones to heal?

If you’re healthy and your bones are relatively strong, partial breaks and hairline fractures may heal in as quickly as a few weeks. If you have a break that requires surgery, however, you can expect your healing process to take several months.

If you’ve fractured a bone, the experienced providers at My Emergency Room 24/7 can help. They’re ready to provide immediate emergency care around the clock, 365 days a year.

Emergency Medical Facility

Skin Conditions

Adults carry about 8 pounds of skin, enough to cover 22 square feet, which makes the skin our largest organ. The doctors and staff at My Emergency Room 24/7 in San Marcos, Texas, diagnose and treat a wide range of skin conditions. Learn more by calling or stopping in today.


Skin Conditions Q & A

What are the most common skin conditions?

The most common skin conditions cause burning, redness, itching, or swelling. The caring medical team at My Emergency Room 24/7 routinely diagnose and treat patients with acne, psoriasis, dermatitis, fungal rashes, ringworm, eczema, and abscesses.

How is acne treated?

Acne is the most common of all skin conditions and affects the skin’s oil glands. When the follicle of a skin gland clogs, a pimple grows. Doctors at My Emergency Room 24/7 may suggest over-the-counter medications to treat acne. In severe cases, they may prescribe medications.

What is eczema?

Eczema is a long-term skin disease that causes dry and itchy skin and rashes. There is no cure for eczema, but doctors at My Emergency Room 24/7 might suggest lifestyle changes, prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, or topical ointments to relieve symptoms.

What is psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a skin disease that causes thick patches of swollen, red, scaly skin. Some men and women with psoriasis report feeling itchy while others experience pain. Psoriasis patches are often found on the knees, elbows, and soles of the feet, but it can be found on other parts of your body as well. Psoriasis treatments are chosen based on the severity of the symptoms and size of the patches.

How are skin rashes prevented?

A rash causes dry, inflamed, and itchy skin, and it is often combined with pain or swelling. Skin rashes may result from allergies, fungal infections, such as ringworm, contact with heat, or inflammatory conditions. Some outbreaks can be prevented by:

  • Avoiding strenuous exercise in hot and humid weather
  • Keeping skin folds dry, especially in areas where skin rubs against other skin
  • Applying a diaper rash ointment to moist areas of skin that are prone to friction
  • Using allergy medications or treatments

What is seborrhea?

Seborrhea, often called dandruff, primarily affects the scalp, but it can also be found on parts of the face and body. Infants with seborrhea are known to have cradle cap, which will normally go away after about six months.

What is a skin abscess?

A skin abscess is a bump of fluid or pus on the skin’s surface, sometimes called a boil. Bacterial infections, such as staphylococcus aureus, are usually the cause skin abscesses. Bacteria enter the skin through a hair follicle, cut, or wound that has punctured the skin.

What treatments are available for skin abscesses?

Most abscesses will go away on their own. You can apply a heat compress to shrink and assist an abscess with drainage. If an abscess doesn’t go away after a few days, or new symptoms develop, the expert staff at My Emergency Room 24/7 can apply numbing medications and drain the fluid. After draining, your doctor will help prevent the abscess from returning by packing the wound with surgical material to keep it clean.

If your skin condition requires treatment, visit My Emergency Room 24/7 for a diagnosis and treatment. If you need a prescription, you can use the on-site pharmacy.

Emergency Medical Facility


Virtually everyone has had diarrhea — frequent, loose, and watery bowel movements — at some point. Besides being a routine side effect of antibiotics and a common gastrointestinal response to food intolerance, it’s also a normal immune system response to food poisoning. The team of board-certified doctors at My Emergency Room 24/7 in San Marcos, Texas provide comprehensive care for patients with severe diarrhea, including IV hydration when necessary. If you’re experiencing worrisome diarrhea, come in any time for prompt, no-wait care.


Diarrhea Q & A

What is severe diarrhea?

Diarrhea is a bowel movement that’s more liquidy than normal, occurs more often than normal, or expels a much higher volume of stool than normal. More specifically, diarrhea involves passing three or more loose or watery stools a day.

Usually, stool is about 25% dietary fiber, protein, fat, mucus, and intestinal secretions, and 75% water. As solid waste travels through your intestinal tract, it collects the fluids and electrolytes that are secreted during digestion. Because your large intestine typically absorbs any excess fluid, your stool is usually firm and solid.

When you have diarrhea, however, the digestive process intensifies. That may mean your digestive tract secretes more fluids and electrolytes than normal, or your large intestine can’t absorb the rush of fluid quickly enough.   

What causes severe diarrhea?

Severe diarrhea can be caused by various underlying factors, ranging from a short-term infection to a chronic digestive problem.

Acute diarrhea, which lasts anywhere from two days to two weeks may be caused by:

  • Bacterial infections: Salmonella and E. coli are two of the most common bacterial infections associated with severe, short-term diarrhea. They’re usually contracted through contaminated foods.  
  • Viral infections: Rotavirus, norovirus, and viral gastroenteritis, also known as the stomach flu, are some of the viruses that can cause severe acute diarrhea.
  • Parasitic infections: Parasites such as Giardia lamblia or cryptosporidium, which can be found in contaminated drinking water, food, and recreational water, can also cause severe short-term diarrhea. Chronic diarrhea, which persists for longer than four weeks, is more likely to be a sign of:
  • Food intolerance: Long-term diarrhea is often a problem for people with undiagnosed food intolerances, such as lactose intolerance.
  • Certain medications: A variety of prescription drugs can cause chronic diarrhea, including certain heartburn and acid reflux medications, antibiotics, and chemotherapy drugs.  
  • Chronic bowel diseases: Long-standing diarrhea can also indicate a severe bowel disorder like Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

When does diarrhea require emergency care?

It’s a good idea to seek medical care if you have severe diarrhea that hasn’t improved after two days. Severe diarrhea can lead to dehydration, so you should also seek medical attention if you become excessively thirsty or notice that your mouth is dry, your urine is dark yellow, or you feel weak, lightheaded, or dizzy.

Because children are more susceptible to the effects of dehydration, they should seek medical attention if their diarrhea hasn’t improved after 24 hours.

If you or your child has severe diarrhea, visit the experts at My Emergency Room 24/7 any time.

Emergency Medical Facility

Respiratory Conditions

About 124 million people visit emergency rooms in the United States annually with upper respiratory conditions, with the common cold, flu, bronchitis, asthma, and pneumonia being the most common. Instead of waiting for hours in a busy hospital emergency room, the doctors and medical staff at My Emergency Room 24/7 in San Marcos, Texas, can diagnose and treat many acute or critical health need. To learn more, stop in or call.

Upper Respiratory Conditions Q & A

What are upper respiratory conditions?

Upper respiratory conditions involve inflammation of the nose and throat membranes. Adults experience an average of two colds per year, and children have even more. Men, women, and children in the United States suffer more than one billion colds annually in the United States. Upper respiratory infections lead to more doctor visits and absences from school and work than all other illnesses. Upper respiratory conditions include:

  • Flu
  • Cough
  • Bronchitis
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Asthma
  • Pneumonia

When is a doctor needed for upper respiratory conditions?

Most upper respiratory conditions don’t require medical treatment, but if the viral infection leads to a bacterial infection, you will need treatment from a doctor. Patients with asthma may experience more significant symptoms. You should seek medical treatment for upper respiratory conditions if:

  • Symptoms are getting worse after seven days
  • Symptoms are not improving after 10 days
  • You experience shortness of breath and difficulty breathing
  • Symptoms include a fever over 102 degrees Fahrenheit
  • You experience vision changes or eye pain
  • You develop severe head or facial swelling

What’s the difference between a cold and the flu?

Both the flu and common cold are upper respiratory conditions, but different viruses cause them. They often have similar symptoms, which can make it difficult to tell the difference. Colds are usually milder than the flu, and they usually don’t result in serious health problems requiring hospitalization. Flu symptoms are more intense, and they typically include a high fever and severe muscle and body aches. The flu can also lead to more severe health problems, such as bacterial pneumonia and ear or sinus infections. The flu may also worsen existing chronic medical conditions, including asthma, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

Are bronchitis and COPD the same?

A cold or another respiratory infection can lead to bronchitis, an inflammation of the lining of your bronchial tubes. People with bronchitis tend to cough more often and forcibly than someone with a cough from the common cold. Furthermore, a bronchitis cough often brings up a discolored, thickened mucus.

Most bronchitis symptoms usually clear up in about 10 days, but a cough from bronchitis may linger for weeks. Chronic bronchitis, a type of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), is a serious condition that is often caused by smoking. It involves constant irritation or inflammation of the bronchial tubes’ lining. People with COPD are at an increased risk of developing lung cancer, heart disease, and other conditions.

My Emergency Room 24/7 provides diagnostic services and treatments for upper respiratory conditions and can treat patients with and without appointments.

Emergency Medical Facility

Pediatric Care

Seeing a pediatric specialist when your child has an acute medical problem that requires prompt attention can be comforting and beneficial. Specially trained to deliver acute and emergency medical services for children of all ages, pediatric experts also provide gentle, compassionate care to help put your child at ease. The team of board-certified physicians at My Emergency Room 24/7 in San Marcos, Texas is pleased to offer a complete range pediatric care services. If your child requires immediate medical attention, call the office or stop by today.

Pediatric Care Q & A

What is pediatric urgent care?

While you typically schedule an appointment with your child’s pediatrician for annual wellness exams, you can’t plan for the times when your child has an illness or pressing medical need that requires immediate attention.

The experienced providers at My Emergency Room 24/7 offer quick, convenient, and comprehensive care for babies, children, and adolescents with acute medical problems, ranging from serious illness to traumatic injury.

Which medical problems are considered urgent?

If your child has ever experienced a severe asthma attack, a persistently high fever, or an allergic reaction to a bug bite, you’ve already encountered an urgent pediatric medical problem firsthand.

Urgent pediatric care treats children who are affected by a short-term illness or symptoms that aren’t otherwise associated with an ongoing, chronic health problem. Some of the issues the team at My Emergency Room 24/7 treats most often include:

  • Flu and high fever
  • Mild dehydration
  • Cough and bronchitis
  • Ear infections
  • Sore throat
  • Sinus infections
  • Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
  • Allergic reactions
  • Insect bites and rashes
  • Minor asthma attacks

The providers at My Emergency Room 24/7 also offer urgent care for children affected by stomach aches, nausea and vomiting, severe constipation, and other acute digestive issues.

What is pediatric emergency care?

When your child has an illness or injury that seems especially severe or life-threatening, it should be considered an emergency. The team of physicians at My Emergency Room 24/7 is fully equipped and prepared to handle urgent pediatric care at all hours of the day, 365 days of the year. They can diagnose and treat:

  • High fever with decreased alertness
  • Severe asthma attacks or allergic reactions
  • Chest pain and difficulty breathing
  • Compound bone fractures or severe burns
  • Severe abdominal pain or dehydration
  • Sudden and severe headache pain
  • Major head injuries, seizures, or fainting
  • Uncontrollable bleeding
  • Poison ingestion and snake bites

Besides providing immediate emergency care for children of all ages, the team at My Emergency Room 24/7 also uses an in-house lab for faster, more accurate diagnoses. To learn more about the pediatric care available at My Emergency Room 24/7, call the office or stop in today.

Emergency Medical Facility

RSV – What is it and does my child have it?

Respiratory Synncytial Virus (RSV) is a major cause of respiratory illness in young children. The virus infects the lungs and breathing passages. The symptoms of RSV might have those that are similar to a cold such as congestion, mild headache, cough, fever or a general ill feeling. The type and severity of symptoms depends on multiple factors, including the particular strain of the virus and whether the patient has other underlying medical problems.

RSV is very contagious. The virus spreads through coughing or sneezing. It can also live on surfaces and on clothing and hands. RSV can spread quickly through schools and childcare centers. Babies often get it when older kids carry the virus home from school. Almost all kids have had it by the time they are 2 years old. Infants are most severely affect by RSV as they may struggle to breathe, have poor feeding and have a severe cough with wheezing.

RSV can cause severe infection in some people, especially premature babies, older adults, infants and adults with heart and lung disease or anyone with a very weak immune system. RSV can spread to the lower respiratory tract, causing pneumonia or bronchiolitis.

It is time to see the doctor if your child develops a high fever, has thick nasal discharge, has a cough that produces mucus, shows signs of dehydration. Seek medical help right away if your child has trouble breathing or is breathing very rapidly, is drowsy or has lips or fingernails that look blue.

My Emergency Room is available from 24/7 every day of the week. Walk in patients are welcomed. If there is concern that your child might have developed RSV, getting treated quickly can help minimize spreading the virus to others as well as start helping your child feel better quicker.

Emergency Medical Facility


Nausea is that unsettling feeling in your stomach that gives you the urge to vomit. Both nausea and vomiting can be symptoms of various underlying problems or conditions, including pregnancy, food poisoning, motion sickness, appendicitis, and brain injury. The team of board-certified doctors at My Emergency Room 24/7 in San Marcos, Texas can help pinpoint the cause of your nausea and offer solutions to help you feel better. If you’re struggling with persistent nausea, come in any time for immediate, no-wait care.

Nausea Q & A

What causes nausea?

Nausea is that queasy or unsettling sensation in your stomach that makes you feel as though you might throw up, or involuntarily empty the contents of your stomach through your mouth.

Some of the problems or conditions that can trigger nausea come from your stomach or intestines, including:

  • Bacterial infection
  • Viral gastroenteritis
  • Food allergy or intolerance
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Traumatic injury

Dizziness, motion sickness, and ear infections — three common problems that originate in your inner ear — can trigger nausea and vomiting as well. Nausea may also be a symptom of a condition that originates in your brain, such as:

  • Head injury or concussion
  • Meningitis, or a brain infection
  • Brain tumors
  • Migraine headaches
Who is most commonly affected by nausea?

Nausea and vomiting affect children and adults in equal measure, but often for different reasons. Adults are more likely to experience nausea from a viral infection and food poisoning, but less often from motion sickness. Children are more likely to feel nauseous from motion sickness, overeating or overfeeding, and food poisoning.

Cancer patients who are undergoing chemotherapy treatments often have to deal with persistent nausea and vomiting.

Early pregnancy also correlates with an increased incidence of nausea and vomiting, which is commonly called morning sickness. Roughly 50-90% of all pregnant women experience nausea in their first trimester, and 25-55% of pregnant women experience nausea and vomiting.

How can I control or relieve nausea?

If you feel queasy, you may be able to subdue your nausea by trying one or more of the following techniques:

  • Drink clear or ice-cold liquids
  • Drink beverages slowly
  • Eat light, bland foods like crackers
  • Eat smaller, more frequent meals
  • Don’t mix hot and cold foods
  • Skip fatty, greasy, or sugary foods
  • Avoid activity after eating

If these strategies don’t work, stop by and see the team at My Emergency Room 24/7.

When does nausea require medical care?

You should seek prompt medical care if vomiting accompany your nausea and it lasts for longer than 24 hours. This is especially true if you notice signs of dehydration, such as a dry mouth, dry skin, infrequent urination, or urine that’s dark yellow.

Emergency medical attention is also warranted if you suspect you have food poisoning, or your nausea is accompanied by severe abdominal pain, headache, neck stiffness, or you’re vomiting blood.

In case of persistent or severe nausea, call the team at My Emergency Room 24/7 or stop in for an immediate appointment any time.

Emergency Medical Facility

Abdominal Pain

Abdominal Pain

Everyone experiences abdominal pain from time to time: Eating a large meal, catching the stomach flu, or constipation can all cause generalized abdominal pain. However, abdominal pain isn’t always benign, which explains why it’s one of the most common reasons people visit the emergency room. The board-certified doctors at My Emergency Room 24/7 in San Marcos, Texas provides comprehensive care for patients with persistent or severe abdominal pain. If you’re worried about your abdominal pain, come to the office any time for prompt, no-wait care.

Abdominal Pain Q & A

How is abdominal pain characterized?

Abdominal pain, which is also commonly called a stomach ache, belly ache, gut ache, or even pelvic pain, can affect any area between your chest and your groin. Most of the time, abdominal pain resolves itself and isn’t symptomatic of a serious health problem.

Most types of abdominal pain can be categorized in one of four ways:

  • Generalized abdominal pain: This type of pain affects more than half of your belly. It’s most common with indigestion, intestinal gas, or a stomach virus.

  • Localized abdominal pain: When pain is localized in one spot of your belly, it’s more likely to be associated with a single organ like your gallbladder, stomach, or appendix.

  • Cramp-like abdominal pain: Cramp-like belly pain is common with gas or bloating and may be followed by diarrhea. This type of abdominal pain is also typical during a woman’s menstrual cycle.

  • Colicky abdominal pain: This type of pain usually comes on suddenly and ends abruptly, and then continues to come in waves. It’s generally associated with problems like kidney stones or gallstones.

What causes abdominal pain?

Abdominal pain can be short-lived or it can persist for weeks, months, or longer, and become chronic. Some of the most common causes of abdominal pain include:

  • Constipation and indigestion

  • Food poisoning and the stomach flu

  • Food allergies or intolerances

More serious causes of abdominal pain include:

  • Appendicitis and pancreatitis

  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

  • Kidney stones and gallstones

  • Diverticulitis, or inflammation of the colon

  • Cancer of the stomach or colon

  • Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis

Women can also experience abdominal pain from severe menstrual cramps, urinary tract infections, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).

When is abdominal pain an emergency?

Although the severity of your abdominal pain doesn’t always accurately reflect the seriousness of its underlying cause — gas pain can be very severe — it’s still important to know when abdominal pain requires prompt attention.

If your abdominal pain is so debilitating that you can’t sit comfortably or move without causing more pain, you should see the doctors at My Emergency Room 24/7 ASAP.

You should also seek immediate care if your abdominal pain is accompanied by any other type of discomfort, like chest, neck, or shoulder pain. Other serious co-symptoms to watch out for include:

  • High or persistent fever

  • Blood in your stool or vomit

  • Persistent nausea or vomiting

  • Abdominal swelling or tenderness

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Poor appetite or weight loss

If you have unexplained and worrisome abdominal pain, call My Emergency Room 24/7 or drop by for prompt, no-wait care any time.

Emergency Medical Facility

Why Do Headaches Happen?


Each year, roughly one in six Americans sees a doctor for intense headaches. Despite the name, headaches are not literal pains in the head or brain. While the brain cannot feel actual pain, it signals whether other parts of the body experience distress. These signals come from swollen or tightened blood vessels, muscles, and nerves that surround the head and neck and continually respond to environmental stimuli, including pressure, allergens, and viruses. Knowing why headaches happen helps determine if emergency care is necessary.

Headaches Versus Migraines

Common tension headaches involve squeezing of the head and neck muscles. Typically, discomfort presents itself as a constant, dull pressure on the back, sides, and front of the head and often results from stress. Illness such as colds and the flu frequently accompany sinus headaches. Sufferers may find relief through proper hydration, over-the-counter pain medicines, and abandoning popular stimulants like caffeine. However, headaches may start as a form of withdrawal when someone kicks a longtime coffee habit, or begins a certain medication.

The mechanics behind migraines are the same as those that cause tension headaches. However, migraines are much more painful, producing a sharp, throbbing sensation that usually last anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 days. Unlike tension headaches, migraines actively interfere with the sufferer’s life, making school and professional activities difficult. 

What Causes Headaches?

Numerous factors explain why headaches happen, including:

  • Music played at high volumes.
  • Heavy caffeine consumption.
  • Sudden caffeine withdrawal.
  • Dehydration.
  • Inadequate eating and/or sleep.
  • Head injuries.
  • Prolonged exposure to computer and television screens.

The following illnesses and conditions often occur alongside headaches:

  • Flu.
  • Cold.
  • Sinus and ear infections.
  • Urinary tract infections.
  • Strep throat.
  • Lyme disease.
  • Aneurysms.*
  • Stroke.*
  • Meningitis.* 

*The last 3 conditions demand prompt medical treatment and cause death if left unattended. Whether headaches are new or an ongoing nuisance in someone’s life, severe discomfort and symptoms that seem unusual justify a trip to the emergency room.

Intense headaches call for proper medical examination to rule out possibilities of severe illness and begin treatment of formally diagnosed conditions. My Emergency Room 24/7 implements modern, best practices that initiate solid, long-term treatment plans for those who suddenly suffer from severe and chronic headaches or migraines. Should you experience unusual, unfamiliar symptoms accompanying headaches or migraines, and are located in San Marcos, visit our emergency care center.


While virtually everyone experiences at least one unforgettable headache at some point in their life, many people are plagued by recurrent headaches. In fact, about 30 million Americans are affected by chronic migraines, one of the most severe types of headache pain. The team of board-certified physicians at My Emergency Room 24/7 in San Marcos, Texas provides A-to-Z care for patients affected by head pain, including chronic migraines. Come into the office for prompt headache evaluation and treatment any time.

Headaches Q & A

What are primary headaches?

Primary headaches are caused by a problem with the pain-sensitive structures in your head. This type of headache pain can originate in the nerves and blood vessels around your skull, the chemical activity in your brain, or the muscles in your head.

Although there are over 150 different types of primary headaches, the most common are:

  • Tension headaches: As the most common form of frequent headache pain, tension headaches are muscle contraction headaches that cause mild to moderate pain, which comes and goes.
  • Migraine headaches: Migraine pain is generally a moderate to severe pounding or throbbing pain that usually occurs on just one side of the head. Along with sensitivity to light, noise, and odors, migraines may be accompanied by vomiting, abdominal pain, weakness, and loss of appetite. Migraines can last for a few hours or up to several days. People affected by chronic migraines often find that this discomfort interferes with daily life.
  • Cluster headaches: These headaches usually cause severe, throbbing, or burning pain behind one eye. Cluster headaches typically emerge several times a day during a so-called cluster period. They can also disappear for long stretches of time, sometimes years, before recurring.
What causes migraines?

Headache experts don’t fully understand what prompts a reaction in the pain-sensitive structures in your head, but they do know that migraines correlate with several potential triggers, including:

  • Increased stress or fatigue
  • Female hormonal changes
  • Environmental or seasonal changes
  • Shifts in sleep patterns

For some people, bright lights, strong smells, or other abrupt sensory stimuli trigger migraine pain. Others find that their headache problem is linked to certain foods or additives, such as aged cheese, red wine, or monosodium glutamate (MSG).

What are secondary headaches?

Secondary headaches, also known as cervicogenic headaches, are caused by an illness or underlying physical ailment. Unlike primary headaches, which originate in the head, the pain felt during a secondary headache begins in your neck and radiates into your head.

When is headache pain an emergency?

Headache pain can also be a symptom of a severe medical emergency, such as a stroke, encephalitis, or meningitis. If you’re experiencing an unusually severe headache, or if your headache pain doesn’t respond to standard pain relief measures, come in and see the team at My Emergency Room 24/7 as soon as possible.

If your severe headache is accompanied by a high fever, confusion, numbness, neck stiffness, confusion, or trouble seeing, speaking, or walking, call 9-1-1 or have someone drive you to My Emergency Room 24/7 for a complete assessment right away.