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.