Headache is a common complaint in people of all ages from the young child through to the adult. It should never be ignored and it in doubt, always consult your doctor.

The pain of headache can be throbbing or pulsating. It can feel like a tight band about the head or it can be a steady dull ache. The type of headache often gives a clue to the cause.

The most severe commonly occurring headache is the migraine headache which is localised to one side of the head. It is often preceded by visual disturbances and vomiting.

Perhaps the most dangerous headache is that following head injury, with its dull steady ache which gradually increases and can lead to a coma. It is caused by internal bleeding within the skull and needs emergency surgery to stop the bleeding and relieve the pressure on the brain. Anybody who has suffered a head injury followed by this type of headache, should be watched closely for at least 24 hours and roused regularly from sleep to make sure that they have not slipped into a coma. A doctor should always be consulted.

A throbbing, pulsating headache can be caused by high blood pressure and drug intoxication, especially alcohol, where the headache is due to histamine and other constituents which are found more in red wine than white.

Generalised infections, for example influenza or localised infections as in the case of sinusitis or the more serious meningitis can produce headache.

Headaches can be associated with ovarian activity in the woman and generally bear a relationship to the monthly period. The contraceptive pill can cause recurring headaches each month.

Low thyroid activity and anaemia can be associated with headache.

Eye conditions from the simple need for glasses to the more serious glaucoma can be linked to headache localised to the eyes.

Neck injuries and degenerative disease of the neck can radiate pain up to the head in the form of headache.

Treatment of headache depends on the cause.

The occasional headache associated with anxiety and tension which responds to simple treatment, such as paracetamol or aspirin is not the worry.

If a headache persists, if it intrudes more and more into your daily life, if it recurs frequently, then your local doctor should be consulted to establish the cause and advise on treatment.

- Anaemia - Anaesthetics and Anaesthesia
- Anxiety - Arthritis
- Asthma - Backache
- Blood Pressure including Hypertension - Boils and Carbuncles
- Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy - Chronic Bronchitis
- Cold Sores (Herpes Simplex) - Colostomy and Ileostomy
- Constipation - Cramp
- Cystitis - Diabetes
- Diarrhoea - Earache
- Footcare - Gallstones
- Glandular Fever (Infectious Mononucleosis) - Gout
- Haemophilia - Headache
- Hepatitis - Hip Replacement
- Indigestion - Influenza
- Jaundice - Kidney Stones
- Legionnaires Disease - Low Blood Pressure
- Migraine - Nose Bleeding
- Osteoporosis - Peptic Ulcers (Gastric or Duodenal)
- Piles (Haemorrhoids) - Pneumonia
- Poor Circulation (incl Buergers & Raynauds Disease) - Prostate Problems
- Rheumatic Fever - Shingles
- Sleeping Difficulties (Insomnia) - Slipped Disc
- Spinal Injuries - The Common Cold
- The Overactive Thyroid Gland - The Underactive Thyroid Gland
- Thrombophlebitis of Superficial Veins - Thrombosis in Veins
- Tonsillitis and Complications

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