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Three out of every four people in the UK suffer from headaches1, so remember that you are not alone.

Whether you are a stay at home parent, a busy professional or a combination of the two, the pain caused by tension headaches and migraine can make it difficult to keep going and get through the day. They can occur anywhere, at any time and often when we’re least expecting them, impacting on our reliability and effectiveness in getting things done.


You may think that there is only one type of headache, however, there are actually many different types, each with their own unique symptoms and causes.


A tension-type headache is the most common type of headache2. They can develop at any age, but are more common in teenagers and adults, with women more likely to suffer from them than men2.

Symptoms can include2:

  • Constant ache that affects both sides of the head
  • Tightening of the neck muscles, with the muscles in the back of your neck and head feeling tender to touch3,4
  • Pressure behind your eyes

Possible causes of tension headaches2:

  • Stress and anxiety
  • Tiredness
  • Poor posture
  • Dehydration
  • Lack of exercise
  • Poor diet
  • Missing meals

Whilst anyone can get them, cluster headaches are rare5. They tend to start when you reach your 30s or 40s and are most common in men5.

Symptoms include:

  • A severe, sharp burning or piercing sensation on one side of the head
  • A red and/or watering eye
  • Drooping and swelling of the affected eyelid
  • A smaller pupil in one eye
  • A sweaty face
  • A blocked or runny nostril
  • Restlessness and agitation

The cause of cluster headaches is unclear5. Although it seems that those at a higher risk of getting cluster headaches include5:

  • Lifestyle choices, such as smoking and drinking alcohol
  • A genetic link
  • Previous head injury
  • Exposure to strong fumes such as perfume, paint or petrol

Sinus headaches are usually a symptom of a sinus infection known as sinusitis which is often triggered by a cold6.

Symptoms include7:

  • Pain and discomfort in your cheekbones, forehead, or the bridge of your nose
  • Pain when bending down or straining
  • Pain when making sudden head movements

1. BPT Data January – April 2018

3. Alison Blenkinsopp: Symptoms in the Pharmacy 5th Edition. Blackwell Publishing