Previously used term:
Warehouse workers’ headache.
Headache caused by exposure to carbon monoxide, resolving spontaneously within 72 hours after its elimination.
- Bilateral headache fulfilling criterion C
- Exposure to carbon monoxide (CO) has occurred
- Evidence of causation demonstrated by all of the following:
- headache has developed within 12 hours of exposure to CO
- headache intensity varies with the severity of CO intoxication
- headache has resolved within 72 hours of elimination of CO
- Not better accounted for by another ICHD-3 diagnosis.
Typically, carboxyhaemoglobin levels of 10-20% cause a mild headache without gastrointestinal or neurological symptoms, levels of 20-30% cause a moderate pulsating headache and irritability, and levels of 30-40% cause a severe headache with nausea, vomiting and blurred vision. At levels above 40%, headache is usually not a complaint because of the change in consciousness.
There are no good studies of the long-term effects of CO intoxication on headache, but there is some evidence of chronic post-CO intoxication headache.