A headache is pain occurring anywhere around the head. Find out what causes headaches and headache relief tips here.


What Causes Headache?

Headaches can be due to many reasons such as stress and lack of sleep, or can be due to illnesses such as the flu, migraine, head injury, brain infection, stroke or brain tumour.

Headache Relief Tips

Here are some things you can do to try and ease your headache:
Lie down in a dark, quiet room with your eyes closed
Practise muscle-relaxation techniques or massage the head, neck and shoulders
Take a warm shower
Apply a cool compress to the painful area
Deal with any likely cause of the headache such as loud noise, bright lights or lack of fresh air
Take painkillers such as paracetamol

You can prevent headaches by:
Learning how to relax 
Doing stretching  and relaxation exercises between long periods of work
Exercising regularly 
Getting enough sleep  (at least six to seven hours a night)
Avoiding strong sunlight by staying indoors

When to See Your Doctor

See your family doctor when:
The headache lasts for more than a day after taking painkillers 
You have headaches very often
The headache is intense, throbbing and one-sided
The headache is associated with nausea, vomiting, seeing flashing lights or blind spots

When it is an Emergency

Go to the Emergency Department when:
The headache is associated with stiff neck, numbness or weakness in the limbs
The headache comes after a head injury
The headache is associated with slurred speech
The headache is associated with fits
The headache is intense, does not subside with initial treatment by your family doctor and is associated with persistent nausea and/or vomiting


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