Head pain that can be felt in different parts of the head

What is headache?

A headache’s main symptom is head pain that can be felt in different parts of the head. Headaches are very common and most people get them. These are usually tension-type headaches.

However, some headaches can be part of a medical condition. The main difference is the cause of the headache and the range and severity of symptoms.

  • Several diseases and disorders have headache as a main symptom. These are ‘primary headaches’ and include migraine and cluster headache.
  • There are also several medical reasons that could cause a person to start getting headache such as a stroke or head injury. These are ‘secondary headaches’.


Headaches that are the result of a disease or disorder often have other symptoms. These can include dizziness, problems with your sight such as seeing flashing lights, being very sensitive to light, sounds and smells, tiredness, feeling sick and being sick.

These headaches are often very painful to the extent where a person might have to stop what they are doing. They can also last for several days and occur regularly.

Diagnosing headache

It’s important to know what type of headache you have so that the headache can be treated appropriately and effectively.

If you get regular headaches, it is important to see your doctor and get a proper diagnosis. You should describe to your doctor the main symptoms you experience, whether there is any pattern, how severe they are and what treatments you use. A diagnosis can help you to manage your headaches and if necessary embark on a suitable form of treatment.