General Headache

What is General Headache

A headache is pain or discomfort felt around the head or neck area. There are many causes and types of headaches. In some cases, the cause may not be found.

Follow these instructions at home:

Managing pain

  • Take over-the-counter and prescription medicines only as told by your doctor.
  • Lie down in a dark, quiet room when you have a headache.
  • If directed, apply ice to the head and neck area:
    • Put ice in a plastic bag.
    • Place a towel between your skin and the bag.
    • Leave the ice on for 20 minutes, 2–3 times per day.
  • Use a heating pad or hot shower to apply heat to the head and neck area as told by your doctor.
  • Keep lights dim if bright lights bother you or make your headaches worse.

Eating and drinking

  • Eat meals on a regular schedule.
  • Lessen how much alcohol you drink.
  • Lessen how much caffeine you drink, or stop drinking caffeine.

General instructions

  • Keep all follow-up visits as told by your doctor. This is important.
  • Keep a journal to find out if certain things bring on headaches. For example, write down:
    • What you eat and drink.
    • How much sleep you get.
    • Any change to your diet or medicines.
  • Relax by getting a massage or doing other relaxing activities.
  • Lessen stress.
  • Sit up straight. Do nottighten (tense) your muscles.
  • Do notuse tobacco products. This includes cigarettes, chewing tobacco, or e-cigarettes. If you need help quitting, ask your doctor.
  • Exercise regularly as told by your doctor.
  • Get enough sleep. This often means 7–9 hours of sleep.

Contact a doctor if:

  • Your symptoms are not helped by medicine.
  • You have a headache that feels different than the other headaches.
  • You feel sick to your stomach (nauseous) or you throw up (vomit).
  • You have a fever.

Get help right away if:

  • Your headache becomes really bad.
  • You keep throwing up.
  • You have a stiff neck.
  • You have trouble seeing.
  • You have trouble speaking.
  • You have pain in the eye or ear.
  • Your muscles are weak or you lose muscle control.
  • You lose your balance or have trouble walking.
  • You feel like you will pass out (faint) or you pass out.
  • You have confusion.

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