What is head or face pain?

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Head or face pain: Overview

Common causes of head or face pain are allergies, stress, and injuries. Other causes include tooth problems and sinus infections. Eating certain foods, such as chocolate or cheese, or drinking certain liquids, such as coffee or cola, can cause head pain for some people.

If you have mild head pain, you may not need treatment. It is important to watch your symptoms and talk to your doctor if your pain continues or gets worse.

How can you care for your child's head or face pain?

  • Be safe with medicines. Give pain medicines exactly as directed.
    • If the doctor gave your child a prescription medicine for pain, give it as prescribed.
    • If your child is not taking a prescription pain medicine, ask your doctor if your child can take an over-the-counter pain medicine.
    • Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than 20. It has been linked to Reye syndrome, a serious illness.
  • Have your child take it easy for the next few days or longer if your child is not feeling well.
  • Use a warm, moist towel to relax tight muscles in your child's shoulder and neck. Gently massage your child's neck and shoulders.
  • Put ice or a cold pack on the area for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Put a thin cloth between the ice and your child's skin.

Head or face pain: When to call

Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • You have twitching, jerking, or a seizure.
  • You passed out (lost consciousness).
  • You have symptoms of a stroke. These may include:
    • Sudden numbness, tingling, weakness, or loss of movement in your face, arm, or leg, especially on only one side of your body.
    • Sudden vision changes.
    • Sudden trouble speaking.
    • Sudden confusion or trouble understanding simple statements.
    • Sudden problems with walking or balance.
    • A sudden, severe headache that is different from past headaches.
  • You have jaw pain and pain in your chest, shoulder, neck, or arm.

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have a fever with a stiff neck or a severe headache.
  • You have nausea and vomiting, or you cannot keep food or liquids down.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • Your head or face pain does not get better as expected.

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The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.