Persistent/recurrent headache

Persistent/recurrent headache


  • Headaches are very common, and most teenagers with a headache will not have a brain tumour.
  • Most teenagers with a headache due to a brain tumour will have other signs or symptoms – these should be looked for carefully.

Headaches caused by a brain tumour:

  • will usually be persistent, occurring on most days
  • will usually be accompanied by vomiting
  • may wake the teenager up or occur particularly when they wake up
  • may make the teenager confused, disorientated, excessively tired, and/or may be less alert/responsive at the same time as the headache

If you're a teenager and you're concerned about your symptoms, it's best to get them checked out by your GP or book an eye check at a local optician. Further information about headaches in teenagers can be found at NHS Choices.

If you're a parent or carer of a teenager and you're concerned about their symptoms, explain that you think they should go to the GP or a local optician and offer to make them an appointment. Bear in mind that, depending on their age and circumstances, they may choose to go on their own, although many appreciate having a parent or carer with them whatever their age.

Feeling Worried?

Are the symptoms exhibited persistent e.g. lasting more than two weeks?


Arrange an appointment with your GP as soon as possible


Request an immediate consultant referral as soon as possible

If the symptoms or signs are sudden onset or severe, either go to the emergency department or call 999.