A person with a headache has discomfort beneath the scalp, forehead, or behind the eyes. Headaches may occur occasionally, or headaches may become chronic by occurring frequently. The most common cause of headache is a muscle tension headache. Other common causes of headache include fever, head injury, viral infections, sinusitis, and migraine headaches.
A headache commonly occurs alone, but may occur with other symptoms. Associated symptoms can be important clues for identifying the underlying cause of a headache. Symptoms that may occur with headache include blurry vision, nausea, vomiting, fever, neck pain, neck stiffness, and increased sensitivity to light or noise. Symptoms that are associated with serious causes of headache include confusion, difficulty walking, difficulty speaking, and excessive sleepiness.
Treatment for a headache depends on the underlying cause. General treatment for a minor headache includes cold compresses, acetaminophen, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Additional treatment for headaches may include medications for migraine headaches and narcotic pain medications.