There are several types of common headache. Tension headaches are caused by tight muscles in the shoulders, neck, jaw, and scalp. Often related to stress, anxiety, or an injury, they tend to be felt on both sides of the head. Migraine headaches are more severe, and they usually involve other symptoms such as blurred vision or nausea. A migraine generally begins as a dull ache and develops into a throbbing, pulsating, or pounding pain at the temple. Believed to be caused by chemical reactions in the brain, migraines can usually be treated by certain relaxation techniques, as well as over-the-counter and prescription medications.
At the first sign of a headache, Dr. Lee advises drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated. Resting in a dark, quiet room can alleviate migraine symptoms, and deep breathing and relaxation techniques can also temper pain associated with headaches. Headaches are rarely associated with more serious conditions, but you should contact a doctor if the headache severely interferes with daily activities, gets worse over 24 hours, or is accompanied by slurred speech, a change in vision, nausea, or vomiting.