Headaches have many causes. Often they can develop for no apparent reason or as a symptom of common illnesses such as flu. Sometimes they are an indicator of a more serious condition such as a head injury, stroke or other serious illness.
Symptoms of tension headaches
- Sensation of a band tightening around the skull
- Pain ranges in intensity
- A throbbing sensation that pulses in time with the heartbeat
- May be accompanied by eye or neck pain
First Aid Treatment
- Help the person into a comfortable position in a quiet place. Consider remedies such as dimming the lights, cold compress, fresh air and sips of cold water.
- Check for other signs and symptoms that may indicate a more serious condition and take action as appropriate. Seek urgent medical advice if: There has been a head injury, There are signs and symptoms of meningitis, The person appears confused, drowsy, or there is any fall in the level of consciousness.
- Help the person to take her usual painkillers.
- If the pain persists, seek medical advice.
Signs and symptoms of meningitis
Any combination of the following may be present:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Stiff neck (pain or difficulty in touching the chest with the chin)
- Sensitivity to light
- Rash (bleeding under the skin) which does not go away if a glass is pressed against it
In addition, in babies and young children:
- The soft spot on the head (the fontanelle) may be stretched tight
- There may be floppiness, lack of focus on surroundings.