Most people will experience a headache
at some point in their lives
and usually the cause
is very, very obvious.
So it may be that they've missed a
or they haven't had enough sleep
or they're dehydrated
from lack of fluid.
And if they then just resolve
eat something, drink something,
get some sleep,
the headache will go away.
There are really three
main categories of headaches.
The first is really the normal headaches
that everybody will get at some point
and they don't really need
to seek any medical attention.
The second category
would be want we call primary headaches
where the headache itself
is the main problem.
And that includes particularly
like migraine and cluster headache
and perhaps what we sometimes call
if it's becoming too frequent.
The third category we see
are the secondary headaches.
That's when somebody
is getting a headache
as a symptom of another medical
problem that itself needs treating.
So, examples of that would be sinusitis,
where you might get a headache
but you treat the sinusitis.
A tension-type headache is really
more severe end of a normal headache.
So, even when
we're talking about normal headaches,
most of those
are tension-type headaches.
So if you're getting muscle tension,
that would be an example
of a tension-type headache.
But when they become very frequent
and perhaps if people
are getting them more days than not,
that might be a headache
that requires medical treatment.
A migraine you can simply describe
as a sick headache,
in an otherwise fit, healthy person.
So the person will experience
attacks of headache, nausea and
sometimes actually being sick as well,
light bothering them,
and often being disabled,
so even if they don't have
to actually go to bed,
they can't carry out
their usual daily activities.
And these attacks can last
for part of the day up to three days
with complete freedom from symptoms
between those attacks.
A true cluster headache
is far more likely to affect a man,
probably in his 30s or 40s,
who may smoke
or have a history of smoking,
and these will be very, very severe
attacks of sudden-onset headache
that is so severe that that
paces around the room,
bangs their head against the wall
and really doesn't know
what to do with themselves.
They will often wake them from their
sleep about two hours after going to bed
and they will occur in clusters,
each attack lasting about two hours
but maybe that cluster going on
for about six to eight weeks.
Hormonal headaches are,
as their name describes,
in their frequency or severity,
depending on the stage that a woman
either in her hormone cycle
or by the hormonal contraception
that she may be using
or by the stage that she's going
through, the menopause.
One of the best ways to identify
what may be triggers for headaches
is to actually keep a diary.
So if people start keeping a record
when their headache symptoms occur,
what day of the week it might be,
what time of day it starts,
then they can start to pick up
of what triggers might be.
It's important to be aware
that if you are at all concerned
about your headaches,
it is worth while going to see
a pharmacist or your doctor
to find out what type of headache
Once you know
what type of headache you've got,
there are a whole host
of different options of treatment.
Many of those will include
and treatments that you can get
from the pharmacy.
So it's important to realise
that for many headaches
you don't need to go
and see your doctor.