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The most common type of a headache experienced by almost everyone is a tension headache. The pain is usually felt across various locations of the forehead. However, this kind of pain is also felt behind the eyes and into the neck.

Although the exact cause is unknown, there are multiple common circumstances that sufferers often share when experiencing this type of discomfort.

Thankfully, there are a variety of treatments available that can ease these kind of symptoms, many of which can be remedied at home without a doctor present.

Tension Headache Symptoms

Symptoms include a dull, aching pain, which usually ranges from mild to moderate. When this kind of pain is happening, it can be nagging, and can last from a few hours to a couple of weeks.

Although the pain is somewhat bearable, it can still be difficult to focus on tasks and maintain your regular lifestyle. Sufferers often cite having to close their eyes and rest in a dark room, especially when the pain is centralized behind the eyes.

Although the specific cause is unknown, most sufferers share similar factors.

Varying Factors

Firstly, lifestyle habits can attribute to head tension. Habits can range from excessive smoking, excessive alcohol drinking, and being sleep deprived.

A second cause can be from straining the eyes. If you have sub-par eyesight, not using adequate eye wear can result in your eyes tensing to see properly which leads to a tension headache.

A third cause can be the environment; inhaling strong chemicals in the air or air pollution. Listening to loud music can also be a factor, or trying to see without enough light, which strains the muscles of the eyes in order to be able to see.

Clearly, there are many possible causes, so it’s important to take note of your own personal triggers to be able to understand why you’re experiencing this kind of pain, and figure out how to treat them and prevent them from happening again.

Comparison to Other Headaches

Some people confuse a tension headache with other types of headaches, like migraines and caffeine headaches.

Although the pain might be felt in a similar area of the body, there are a number of differences between all of the different kinds of head pain, so it’s important to know the distinction between all of them to be able to help yourself.

To clarify, migraines can sometimes start as a dull, tension-like pain, but will usually progress to a sharper more intense pain. Nausea and vomiting also accompany a migraine, but not a tension headache. Migraines can also be accompanied by photo or phono sensitivity, which means an increased sensitivity to light noise or light.

Cluster headaches on the other hand are like a tension headache in that they are both somewhat caused by lifestyle choices, like drinking and smoking, and can also be located near the eyes. However, cluster headaches will often increase in pain level and tend to come and go in clusters of days.

Some of these types of headaches may also require more intense medication from a doctor, due to the nature of the pain. Various kinds of other headaches are also relatively stagnant when it comes to their pain level and can be treated at home.

Tension Headache Treatment

The treatment can vary. Changing your lifestyle habits can help. This includes drinking more water, less alcohol, and quitting smoking.

Ensuring you are breathing in clean air with an air purifier can also be beneficial. It’s also recommended to get your eyes checked by an optician to prevent straining your eyes to see, which can lead to a headache from muscle strain.

Getting enough sleep is also a crucial factor in making sure your body can function properly, and be pain-free.

Natural Remedies

Some people also use natural remedies to treat a tension headache. This can include going for massages and doing yoga, which can help to relieve muscle tension. Epsom salt baths and footbaths with essential oils can also be beneficial.

Herbal remedies, like drinking chamomile or gingerroot tea, have also been shown to help in reducing stress levels, which could potentially be the cause of your pain.


As we mentioned before, this type of headache can usually be treated on your own, with natural remedies or by making certain changes to your lifestyle and by taking care of your eyes and overall health.

However, if you are unable to treat your tension headache with medication or by changing your lifestyle and environment, it is recommended to see a physician who can assess the pain and provide treatment.

Only a physician can provide you with the diagnosis you need to treat a severe condition. Importantly, if your headaches become debilitating, it’s absolutely essential to seek help from a medical professional.

You might also like other: Types of Headaches.