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Tension Headache

By Bjarne Lühr Hansen PhD, MD and Philipp Skafte-Holm MD, Mentor Institute

Tension headache usually brings a light to medium degree of pain. The headache lasts from a few hours to several days. It is experienced as pressing or tightening in the whole head.

Often, there are sore areas in the neck or by the temples.

Tension headache is very common. Up to ¾ of the population experience tension headache at some point in their life and ¼ of all adults have tension headache once a month or more. Some people can point out certain elements that trigger tension headache. It may for example be stressful situations or overload of neck and shoulder muscles possibly in connection with bad eyesight. If the eyesight is weakened you involuntarily tense the muscles of neck, shoulder and face in an attempt to focus. Thereby, an overload of the muscles arises that is experienced as headache. Other explanations for tension headache are that it is caused by grinding your teeth, crooked bite or osteoarthritis in the spine.

Further reading on Frequent signs.

What can you do?

You can try to determine yourself what causes your tension headache. If the headache always appears on the workplace and never when you are on vacation, maybe your work position is the cause. If the headache appears in connection with reading, you should have your eyesight examined. Painkilling medication, bought over the counter, can in most cases treat passing tension headache.

What can your optician do?
The optician can measure your eyesight and examine you for squinting. The optician can also evaluate, whether you need glasses possibly in connection with working with the screen on your computer.

Contact the doctor tomorrow

If you for more than one week have had a daily use of painkilling medication, you should contact your doctor. The doctor can examine you for causes of tension headache and give advice on taking painkilling medication.

Contact the doctor immediately

The ophthalmologist can measure your eyesight and perform an eye examination to determine whether you have concealed squinting or if the headache is caused by something else.