Not tonight darling, I've got a headache...

Not tonight darling, I've got a headache...

It used to be a classic excuse for turning down the amorous attentions of your partner, but a new survey has revealed that headache is not just an excuse for going straight to sleep. The Nurofen Headache Survey reveals that one in three people actually find that headache impacts on intimate relations with their partner.

The survey, focusing on the impact of headache on the lives of Australians, highlights that it is not just women who suffer from headaches when the lights are dimmed. Almost as many men as women (32 per cent vs 35 per cent) report headaches occurring when they are getting intimate with their partner.

Surprisingly, headache has the least impact on intimate relations for the over-50 age group with only a quarter of this group reporting that headache interferes with 'an early night' compared to 40 per cent of 35-49 year olds.

The Nurofen Headache Survey is part of a nationwide campaign designed to encourage people to take headache more seriously following the discovery that one in three people experience a headache at least once a month and one in 20 get a headache on a daily basis.

Even though headache is a common complaint only a quarter of people have ever sought advice on headache from a healthcare professional. In fact, the World Health Organisation recently classified headache as a disability yet less than half of Australians are aware that this is the case.

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia's community pharmacy education and training program, Pharmacy Self Care is supporting a national awareness campaign designed to encourage people to take headache more seriously. According to John Bell, Principal advisor, Pharmacy Self Care, headache is still often perceived as a minor or trivial complaint despite the fact that it is a widespread and debilitating condition that causes physical, emotional, social and economic burden.

"While we might joke that headache is just an excuse to avoid sex, it is estimated that 11 million Australians suffer from tension headaches and almost two million suffer from migraine. However, headache still tends to be under-recognised, misdiagnosed and mistreated by consumers and health professionals alike," he said.

Headache also has a serious impact on working life in Australia with one in eight people taking time off work for headache and over half of the population testifying that headache impacts on their ability to work effectively.

"Through the awareness campaign, we are communicating to both public and health professionals that headache is a serious condition, that sufferers should be consulting their pharmacist or GP about their condition, and that there is information and support available.

"As part of the campaign, a new leaflet, sponsored by Nurofen, - Tackling Headache Head On - has been launched. This resource provides information on different types and causes of headache, ways to avoid headache and various treatment options. The resource is available through pharmacies where pharmacists can also provide expert advice on dealing with headache.

"Pharmacists are often the first port of call for people seeking advice and treatment on headache and as a result are in the best position to educate patients on the importance of managing their condition." Mr Bell concluded.

Further information on headache and copies of the Tacking Headache Head On leaflet are available from your pharmacy.