How to Prevent a Headache: A Quick Guide!

By Dr. Pallavi Sharma

Table of Contents


You may notice warning symptoms that give you a headache in advance, or it may strike suddenly. And when it’s over, you want to make sure you can prevent a repeat performance. There are a few things you can do to keep the headache at bay:

  • Get enough rest
  • Get painkillers

While headache pain can be debilitating, there are steps you can take to limit its duration and severity. Headache relief medications are available over the counter and can be helpful in treating a headache.

But prevention is key, so be sure to avoid triggers and head to the emergency room if a headache becomes intense or lasts for more than four hours. Headaches can be caused by a variety of factors, but some can be prevented with common-sense precautions.

You’ll want to make sure you have some ibuprofen or aspirin on hand should you experience the pain of a migraine; these medications can help relieve the pain and lessen the severity of the headache.

However, don’t rely on them as your only defense.

 Headaches are a common complaint and one that can be very debilitating. It’s not just a pain in the skull; it can also stop you from doing the things you enjoy. Knowing the warning signs can help you get through it, and after it’s gone, make sure to follow the advice in this article to reduce the chances of a recurrence.

 Every headache is different, and understanding what triggers yours is key to headache prevention, whether you suffer from chronic headaches or more occasional discomfort. This article will give you tips both on how to prevent headaches and what to do if you missed the prevention window and are in the throes of a headache.

How to Define a Headache?

A headache is a pain or discomfort in the head, face, or neck. It can vary in intensity from a mild ache to a throbbing pain that is severe enough to interfere with your daily activities. Headaches can be caused by a number of different things, including stress, fatigue, muscle tension, allergies, and eyestrain.

Some headaches are also the result of a more serious condition, such as a brain tumor or a aneurysm.

Types of Headaches

Primary Headaches

Most headaches are primary headaches, meaning they’re not caused by another condition. The most common types of primary headaches are tension headaches, cluster headaches, and migraines.

Tension Headache

Tension headache is the commonest headache that people frequently visit doctors. They’re often described as feeling like a tight band around your head. Tension headaches typically occur in response to stress, fatigue, or muscle strain.

Episodic tension headaches occur less than 15 days per month, while chronic tension headaches occur more than 15 days per month.


Migraines are less common than tension headaches, but they’re more severe. Migraine is accompanied by several symptoms as nausea, vomiting, and photophobia (light sensitivity), phonophobia (sound sensitivity). Migraines can last for a few hours or several days, and they can occur once or twice a year, or as often as several times a week.

There are many different theories about what causes migraines, but the exact cause is still unknown. However, there are a few things that are thought to trigger migraines, such as certain foods, stress, hormonal changes, and changes in the environment. If you suffer from migraines, it is important to keep track of your triggers and avoid them if possible.

 Cluster Headache

Cluster headaches are a rare type of headache that affects less than 1% of the population. This chronic headache, which is characterized by a unilateral headache and intense pain on the same side of the head, needs to be treated with regular medications to prevent clusters of headaches. Cluster headaches often come in groups, or clusters, and can last for weeks or even months at a time.

If you or someone you know suffers from cluster headaches, it is important to seek medical help to find the best possible treatment plan.

Secondary Headaches

Secondary headaches are caused by another condition, such as an infection or a concussion. If you have a headache that comes on suddenly and is accompanied by other symptoms, it’s important to see a doctor.

Associated symptoms of secondary headaches

  • Fever
  • Numbness or weakness of muscles
  • Slurring of speech
  • Vertigo
  • Dizziness
  • Gait abnormalities

Headache Home Remedies

If you’re a person who suffers from headaches, you know that finding the right remedy can be tough.

Headaches can be frustrating, especially if you don’t know what to do about it. The best way to treat headaches is to avoid them altogether.

A headache usually has a trigger, a reliever, and a preventer.


What are the actual causes of headaches? What are your headache triggers? Are there certain things that make your headaches worse? We’ll discuss the most common triggers for headaches and some strategies for avoiding them.

As we all know, life can sometimes be a little hectic. Between work, family obligations, and social engagements, it’s not always easy to find the time or energy to make ourselves comfortable.

 Some triggers are modifiable while some are not.

Therefore, the first step in the journey of preventing headaches is to identify and make a list of your headache triggers.

  • Stress
  • Smoking and alcohol-skipping meals or eating junk foods
  • Caffeine overuse
  • Insomnia
  • Hormonal changes
  • Dehydration
  • Climate Change

Avoiding Triggers

Stress Management

If you’re experiencing frequent headaches, it’s important to address the root cause of your triggers. Stress is considered to build up tension in your head. But what do you do if you’re not able to reduce your stress levels?

If you are overloaded with work, try to schedule and reschedule your work. Correct time management will help you overcome your stress.

Engaging in yoga, meditation, or a hobby (singing, or swimming) might reduce your stress levels.

Dietary Changes

 Are you a migraine sufferer? Migraine is the most common headache that can be triggered by dietary changes. If you suffer from migraines, changing your diet may help reduce or eliminate their frequency.

There are people who are sensitive to food allergies and certain odors. This will cause a headache for them. Thus, avoiding those might help you prevent recurrent headaches.

Eliminate Caffeine

Caffeine is a common ingredient in many foods and beverages, and it’s also a stimulant that can trigger migraines in some people.

If you suffer from caffeine migraine, you know how painful and frustrating it can be.

Having said that, caffeine can also relieve headaches in some non-migraine sufferers. Caffeine is a stimulant and can interfere with brain function and sleep once the caffeine limits are exceeded in the blood.

This can cause withdrawal headaches in chronic caffeine abusers. Thus, limiting caffeine intake is essential.

Get Some Sleep.

 According to a recent study, people who get at least seven hours of sleep each night are less likely to suffer from headaches than those who don’t. Sleep is important for headache prevention. Making a sleeping schedule and practicing relaxation techniques may aid in getting a good night’s sleep.

Although they are not recommended frequently, sleep medicines may be taken if you are not getting any good sleep at night.

So if you’re one of the millions who suffer from migraines or other headaches, try making some changes to your sleep habits and see if it helps.

Quit Smoking

If you’re one of the millions of people who smoke, you know that it can be difficult to quit. Not only is it a habit that’s difficult to break, but it can also lead to headaches, nausea, and other symptoms. But don’t worry, there are ways to make quitting easier and help prevent these headaches from happening.

According to health records, smokers are more likely to experience cluster headaches. Therefore, joining smoking cessation support groups and attending cessation classes may help you avoid painful headaches.

Take Preventive Medication.

If you suffer from migraines, you know how painful and debilitating they can be. But did you know that taking preventative medications can help prevent them from occurring in the first place? Another debilitating headache occurs in clusters. Taking preventive medications might also prevent or reduce clusters.

Some of the preventive medications that your physician might prescribe would be ant seizure medications, triptans, beta-blockers, and calcium channel blockers.

How to Treat a Headache at Home?

Are you suffering from a headache? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Headaches are one of the most common ailments in the world, and they can be debilitating if they’re not taken care of.

Headaches are one of the most common complaints, and millions of people suffer from headaches each year. 

While there are many pharmacological treatments available for headaches, there are simple nonpharmacological treatments that are effective as medicines in healing and preventing them in the first place.

 Drink Water

 The daily requirement of water per person is 4–6 liters per day. Drinking enough water is essential to maintain body systems healthy. Headaches too can heal with drinking enough water, hot soups, fresh smoothies, etc.

 Hot Compress or Cold Compress?

Some people prefer to use natural methods to help relieve their pain from headaches. Some use hot compression on the head while others use cold compression. Both remedies have been found to alleviate headaches. 

The most effective treatment for migraines and cluster headaches is cold compression. Hot compression is necessary for the pain relief of tension headaches and sinus headaches.

Using an ice pack will help to constrict the arteries because vasodilatation is what causes migraines and cluster headaches. The best remedy for tension headaches is warm compression because they are mostly caused by severe neck and head muscle pain. Warm compression is required to unblock the nose.

Herbal Tea

Drinking herbal tea can help bring relief from headaches because it contains compounds that can help reduce inflammation in the brain.

Massage Pressure Points.

These massage pressure points are specific points located on the head and neck and, when stimulated, can help relieve pain and tension quickly.

These pressure points are located above the eyebrows, over the bridge of the nose, neck, and the back of the occiput.

Vitamins and Minerals.

Just by eating the right vitamins and minerals, you can help your body fight off the pain Headaches can be a real pain, but they don’t have to be a permanent part of your life. Vitamin B and E and minerals like magnesium can help to alleviate the pain.

 When to Visit the Doctor

If you’re experiencing sudden, occasional, or chronic headaches, it’s important to see a doctor. There could be a medical reason behind your headaches, and treatment can help relieve them.

 While some of these headaches may be caused by simple causes such as dehydration or stress, some may have a sinister cause.

When your headache is

  • not relieved by medicine
  • changes its frequency and duration
  • has additional symptoms of neurological deficit
  • recur more frequently than usual.
  • makes you depressed
  • interfering with day-to-day life and work

You must visit your doctor.

Red flag signs of headache that need immediate medical treatment are

  • Fever
  • Seizures
  • Neck stiffness
  • Vision, gait, and speech anomalies

A doctor can run more tests to determine the root of the problem.


TeleHealthDoc articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.

Dr. Pallavi Sharma

Dr. Pallavi Sharma is one of Melbourne’s best, well respected cosmetic doctors and aims to provide longstanding anti-aging benefits for her clients. With over 11 years experience in Performing cosmetic procedures, Dr. Sharma has lectured medical professionals regarding cosmetic treatments and is heavily involved in providing up to date cosmetic treatments to her clients and friends.
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