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"Why do I have pressure on the sides of my head?"

ZocdocAnswersWhy do I have pressure on the sides of my head?


I feel pressure on either side of my head. I guess it would be where the temples are. It comes and goes but is really distracting when it is happening. What might cause something like this pressure?


What you seem to be describing, although it is difficult to know for sure, is a tension headache. Tension headaches feel like someone has placed a band around your head, and the pressure then comes and goes. These are extremely common, and can be readily treated. The difficulty comes in that there are many types of headaches, some of which can be very serious and need immediate treatment. For that reason, it is difficult for anyone to make a clear diagnosis without performing a physical exam and asking you specific questions about the onset, timing, severity, associated symptoms, and other aspects of this pressure that you are feeling. Primary care doctors are very comfortable answering all of these questions, and there should be no need for you to see a specialist, provided that your answers to all of your doctor's questions are negative. Migraines are another common type of headache, and are often associated with flashing lights and a desire for a quiet, dark room until the pain subsides. Cluster headaches can feel isolated to just one side of your head, and can also have sinus symptoms. Please speak to your doctor soon about your pressure, and follow his or her recommendations to limit your symptoms.

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