There are things you can do to manage headaches at home, especially migraines or tension headaches. Try to treat the symptoms right away.
When migraine symptoms begin:
- Drink water to avoid getting dehydrated, especially if you have vomited.
- Rest in a quiet, dark room.
- Place a cool cloth on your head.
- Use any relaxation techniques you have learned.
A headache diary can help you identify your headache triggers. When you get a headache, write down the following:
- Day and time the pain began
- What you ate and drank over the past 24 hours
- How much you slept
- What you were doing and where you were right before the pain started
- How long the headache lasted and what made it stop
Review your diary with your health care provider to identify triggers or a pattern to your headaches. This can help you and your provider create a treatment plan. Knowing your triggers can help you avoid them.
Your provider may have already prescribed medicine to treat your type of headache. If so, take the medicine as instructed.
For tension headaches, try acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen. Talk to your doctor if you are taking pain medicines 3 or more days a week.