Most headaches will go away on their own and aren’t a sign of something more serious.

How you can ease headaches yourself

Headaches can last between 30 minutes and several hours.

See a GP if:

  • your headache keeps coming back
  • painkillers don’t help and your headache gets worse
  • you have a bad throbbing pain at the front or side of your head – this could be a migraine or, more rarely, a cluster headache
  • you feel sick, vomit and find light or noise painful
  • you get other symptoms – for example, your arms or legs feel numb or weak

What can cause headaches

The most common reasons are:

  • having a cold or the flu
  • stress
  • drinking too much alcohol
  • bad posture
  • eyesight problems
  • not eating regular meals
  • not drinking enough fluids (dehydration)
  • taking too many painkillers
  • women having their period or menopause