Headaches can affect anyone of any age and are very common. Over 10 million people in the UK regularly have headaches.
In most cases, a headache will go away on its own or with simple home remedies.
If your head is aching and you feel as though there’s a tight band around your skull or across your forehead then you may have a tension headache. A tension headache is the most common type of headache and can be triggered by:
Pain at the front of your head accompanied by a painful face, ears and teeth, is a sinus headache. A sinus headache often intensifies when you bend over and is caused by an infection in your sinus glands (sinusitis).
Cluster headaches cause sudden, intense pain around one of your eyes or one side of your temple. They happen in bouts, each lasting for between two and 12 weeks. Cluster headaches are rare and don’t respond to over-the-counter pain relief.
In most cases, a headache is nothing to worry about. However, very occasionally, a headache is a symptom of an underlying condition, such as:
If you suddenly have an extremely painful headache or are seriously concerned about a headache, seek medical attention urgently.
If you regularly have headaches which affect your daily life, see your GP. They'll discuss your headaches and any other symptoms with you, as well as your general health.
Your GP will explain what causes headaches and may advise you about lifestyle changes to ease your headaches. Your GP may prescribe medication and may refer you for further investigations to check for an underlying reason for your headache.
You can help prevent headaches, including a tension headache or migraine, by:
To ease the pain of a headache, including a tension headache or migraine, try:
If you’re having regular, severe headaches, your GP may prescribe pain relief or other medication.