Around 120 million people in the UK get headaches regularly, and nearly everyone suffers one at some point.  The most common - tension headaches - are fairly short lived, feel like a tight band around the head, and are typically brought on by lack of sleep, stress, hunger, not drinking enough water or too much caffeine.  They can be treated with paracetamol and/or ibuprofen. A severe throbbing headache at the front or the side of  the head may be a migraine which, while not life-threatening, is deeply unpleasant and needs prompt medical attention if not previously diagnosed.  A sudden blinding headache always needs immediate attention. Other headaches to be aware of are those that follow a serious head injury, gradually get worse over many days, don't go away, or are exacerbated by lying down, coughing or sneezing.

Source: Benenden Be Healthy