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Preventing Headaches


There's no miracle answer to preventing headaches but simple strategies can make them much less likely to occur.

  • Learn to recognise your headaches and what triggers them, so that you can avoid the triggers,
  • Complete a 'headache diary' to try to link events, foods or other factors to symptoms.
  • Find out more about migraines and work especially if your headaches are severe or in association with other symptoms such as nausea and vomiting.
  • Be sure you are fit and prepared for work each day, well rested and having eaten a good breakfast.
  • Get your eyes tested - headaches may be a sign of eye problems or needing a new prescription for your glasses.
  • Make your work environment as comfortable, and stress free, as possible. It's worth checking noise levels and temperature, and discussing problems with your employer.
  • Find ways to keep on top of the demands and stresses of the job - learn negotiating skills and stress management techniques.
  • Take swift and effective action when a headache starts If you have regular headaches make sure that you keep with you a supply of the medication that usually helps.

When you have a headache at work:

  • Take a short break, get out into the fresh air if possible, and sit quietly for 15 minutes.
  • Take simple pain killers (paracetamol, ibuprofen etc) as soon as possible.
  • Try massaging your temples, or other de-stressing activities.
  • Make sure you're well hydrated - drink 1-2 cups of water. If hungry eat something which provides a ready source of energy.
  • Change what you are doing to something that doesn't involve a computer screen or VDU.

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