What causes headaches? - Dan Kwartler

  • Published on Apr 12, 2018
  • Download a free audiobook and support TED-Ed's nonprofit mission: adbl.co/2Hejwql
    Check out Oliver Sacks's "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat": bit.ly/2Hk8ShM
    View full lesson: ed.ted.com/lessons/what-causes-headaches-dan-kwartler
    In ancient Greece, the best-known remedy for a long-standing headache was to drill a small hole in the skull to drain supposedly infected blood. Fortunately, doctors today don’t resort to power tools to cure headaches, but we still have a lot to learn about this ancient ailment. Dan Kwartler shares what we know (and don't know) about headaches.
    Lesson by Dan Kwartler, animation by Sharon Colman.
    Thank you so much to our patrons for your support! Without you this video would not be possible. Senjo Limbu, Martin Lau, Robson Martinho, Jason Garcia, Cailin Ramsey, Seung Hoon Shin, John Saveland, Nicolle Fieldsend-Roxborough, Venkat Venkatakrishnan, Sandy Nasser, CG Nobles, Yoga Trapeze Wanderlust, Jaron Blackburn, Alejandro Cachoua, Thomas Mungavan, Elena Crescia, Edla Paniguel, Anna-Pitschna Kunz, Tim Armstrong, and Alessandro.

Comments • 1 925

  • TED-Ed
    TED-Ed  11 months ago +266

    Download a free audiobook version of Oliver Sacks' "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat" here: adbl.co/2Hejwql. Each free trial started with this Audible link helps support TED-Ed's nonprofit mission.

    • Des Bro
      Des Bro 4 months ago

      ted-ed. I would like to get in touch with you somehow because I possess the ability to think my headaches away. I can show you this on brain scan for proof and I am 100% willing to prove it.

    • Kuro Sparda
      Kuro Sparda 5 months ago

      want your videos translated to portuguese brazillian? your channel will boom even more. Message me at @spardakonekosama on instagram if youre interested, my service is excellent. I also can voice translate it :) cheers!

    • Kavan Patel
      Kavan Patel 6 months ago

      When my head starts paining...
      My mouth produces thin saliva
      And for me the best medicine for headaches is to vomit out !!!!

    • teyona mays
      teyona mays 7 months ago

      This really helps me in becoming a nurse 😺😺😺😹😹😹😹🐶

  • Dark Hood Entity
    Dark Hood Entity 2 hours ago

    I had a headache while watching this. Seriously

  • Mari Cris
    Mari Cris 12 hours ago

    In my case for cluster, I always get the problem in relation to my eyes. To heal the headache that I encountered, I where my glasses. I don't use my glasses daily because I don't want to depend on it.
    For the sinus, I end up always crying as I cannot take the pain. Since you are crying you tend to withdraw the mucus but it is always too little so if I am crying, I tend to withdraw as much as I can.
    Both really worked for me. For my eyes, I know that I have a problem by feeling my eyes throbbing and for my sinus, I notice it swells.

  • Sebastian 2005
    Sebastian 2005 21 hour ago +1

    If I hold my breath for too long, I get a tension headache

  • Kathryn Kuder
    Kathryn Kuder Day ago

    I know the cure for tension headaches just exercise and run around

  • Myranda Diaz
    Myranda Diaz 2 days ago

    I felt the migraine

  • Moonlight Tikah
    Moonlight Tikah 2 days ago

    i have headache at least 5 times a month. it hurts so sometimes i just deal with it. i feel the pain in my temple area. hurts so much.

  • Magic Maty
    Magic Maty 2 days ago +3

    If you have a headache:
    Drink water
    Have medicine
    Try eating something (unless you already have)
    Go somewhere dark and comfortable
    Sleep and listen to soft sounds or music
    Complete silence
    Massage your head (run fingers through hair)
    Edit: I have had horrible migraines and headaches, so I know my stuff haha.

    • Goat Boi
      Goat Boi Day ago

      Magic Maty this is why i love comment sections

  • Dorothy Isidro
    Dorothy Isidro 3 days ago +2

    Person 1: ow
    Person 2: 0_0
    Person 3: THIRST!!!
    Person 4: OOOWWW!
    Person 6: MY HEAD IS HURTING.

  • Determined Games
    Determined Games 3 days ago

    What causes headaches?
    Knowing that Fortnite exists and that there's actually people who play it.

  • cramin
    cramin 4 days ago

    I am so thankful I don’t get headaches very often. I get a minor one like once a month.

  • BR Design
    BR Design 5 days ago

    They roast the bacteria?!

  • hettyscetty 97
    hettyscetty 97 5 days ago

    Thank you I have narrowed down the reason why I get headaches to dehydration, eye strain and stress. Unfortunately two out of three of these things are unavoidable since I'm a full time student who works in a call centre on a computer.

  • Johra Akter
    Johra Akter 5 days ago

    I have Migraine. It's severe. My doctor says it's normal!

  • Grim
    Grim 5 days ago

    As for me, I don't mind getting sick. I use it as a chance to record some information like a little experiment. It takes some of the grief away. But headaches are something I DO mind. I hate them so much.

  • memes on swings
    memes on swings 6 days ago

    why do i have a migraine disorder but only get clusters?

  • Elytrian Tiger
    Elytrian Tiger 6 days ago

    Little siblings

  • Peter Griffin
    Peter Griffin 6 days ago

    My wife.

  • HariniVardini Rajesh

    1:22 he's female?! 😂 also why am I getting a headache just from watching this, ugh..

  • Triqz_ Official
    Triqz_ Official 9 days ago

    I have a headache that I need sleep

  • Dalumat Edelberto
    Dalumat Edelberto 11 days ago

    Number 1 cause of headache is because it's "empty". Like a stomach when ur'e hungry ;)

  • Dalumat Edelberto
    Dalumat Edelberto 11 days ago

    How come that a nose had a head ache?

  • Jen Chan
    Jen Chan 11 days ago +1

    The belt headache (tention) means you have to poop
    Our digestive system sends more signals to the brain than the brain sands to it.
    And the headache is one of the way of our body to tell us something is not right and there is something wrong going on by sending pain signals.
    People just afraid of everything they can't understand right away..
    Cure to everything is to relax, some good music, close your eyes and just breath.
    We all gonna die, everything is meaningless. Just try to be the best of yourself and stuff

  • Anonymous 2.0
    Anonymous 2.0 12 days ago

    man ive been having a headache for 3 fricking days straight..and i decided to watch this vedio

  • Bubbles
    Bubbles 12 days ago

    When i was a kid i always had migraines and it was horrible AF

  • Claudia Li
    Claudia Li 13 days ago +1

    who else got a headache watching this?

  • SajidA829
    SajidA829 13 days ago

    I hate migraines, especially vomiting while having it.

  • Glitzy Studioz
    Glitzy Studioz 14 days ago

    When I jump on the trampoline my head hurts

  • Lunalex
    Lunalex 16 days ago


  • suh un
    suh un 17 days ago

    My headache is secondary type.
    severe Nasal Inflamation triggered
    Continuous pain in my head
    So I wait and desire the Complete trerapy to eliminate this

  • TheDanCube // Dancubing

    This is oddly specific, but I got my first cluster headache on a plane during a flight at night. It felt like my eye was stabbed by thousands of pins and needles. It ain't pretty...

  • Jeremiah Plays All
    Jeremiah Plays All 18 days ago

    I had a cluster headache traveling to Nueva Ecija(Philippines). I wanted to die

  • Quackity Quack
    Quackity Quack 19 days ago

    the cluster is so fcking annyoing

  • CementTedAlfond
    CementTedAlfond 20 days ago

    Dehydration -Mom

  • Dev27
    Dev27 20 days ago +1

    I had a headache for 3 months. I went to the er 4 times and stayed In CHOP (children’s hospital in philly) for 3 days. I got a cat scan and mri. Bc my life is perfect 😒

  • Cooltabby 13
    Cooltabby 13 20 days ago +3

    Does anyone else get those semi-painful headaches for about 3seconds to a minute? (or 2)

  • haleybrooke
    haleybrooke 21 day ago +1

    Migraines are a step away from death 💀

  • asdfgoogle
    asdfgoogle 21 day ago

    Where can I find a video that is just that psychotic-looking bit? That was super trippy.

  • TheBlue Gamer
    TheBlue Gamer 23 days ago

    Who’s watching this with a headache?

  • PixelBoiPlayz
    PixelBoiPlayz 23 days ago

    Well at least I found out why I have a headache

  • Raging Gamer
    Raging Gamer 23 days ago

    I have these migraines that last at least a day. I always get an Ora and the there’s an excruciating pain in the back of my eye. Doctors still don’t know why I get them.

  • Itz Shreya
    Itz Shreya 23 days ago

    After watching this i m getting a headache 🤕😣😣

  • Squatting Gopnik
    Squatting Gopnik 23 days ago


  • Marios Digenis
    Marios Digenis 24 days ago

    when I watch TV for lots of hours ,I see those types of halluciniations.

  • Bone Bird
    Bone Bird 24 days ago +1

    there is actually a tiny man in ur head who gets angry and throws chairs against your skull

  • Katrina Mae
    Katrina Mae 25 days ago +10

    His nose is in the side of his face

  • Trees And Stuff
    Trees And Stuff 25 days ago

    2:00 t r i g g e r e d

  • Peggy Stephanie
    Peggy Stephanie 25 days ago

    I'd say I usually experience cluster headaches. What works for me is to fill a cup with hot water or coffee :) and then place this cup on the affected eye. The warmth from the cup gives me relief soon after.

  • Finn
    Finn 26 days ago +1

    I've never had headache!

  • OldPossum
    OldPossum 26 days ago +1

    Heads. Heads cause headaches, the same way guns cause gun violence. No heads, no headaches. Elect me to Congress.

  • Tj Semeniuk
    Tj Semeniuk 26 days ago

    You have a head ache? Let me just drill a hole in your head.

  • Atilla Gamercheto
    Atilla Gamercheto 26 days ago

    I have migraine.But dont think is something very bad is like a pain thats not too bad but when you stay with this pain for 20 minunets is getting kind of worster because now is very anoying

  • Audree Smith
    Audree Smith 27 days ago

    I get headaches so often. That’s why I watched the video.

  • belinda hughes
    belinda hughes 27 days ago

    this guy has his nose on the side of his head & the top of his head keeps flipping open to expose his brain. heavens!, no wonder he gets headaches !!!

  • Dragon Ball
    Dragon Ball 28 days ago

    This video causes me headache.😡😡

  • Samuel Rojas
    Samuel Rojas 29 days ago

    I get a somewhat more mild-ish kind of migraine chronically... the aura is nowhere near as strong as most other people with migraines often describe theirs to be (my hallucinatory sensations are a bit more subtle, like the sharpness of objects, strength of light, and volume of sound) and the nausea and pain from them aren't nearly as debilitating as they seem to be in other people. Does anyone else have any similar experiences?

  • Bottinator22
    Bottinator22 29 days ago


  • Be infinite
    Be infinite Month ago

    I am not kidding i have never had a headache!!!!!! Like how can yoir head ache?

  • Cream Mallow
    Cream Mallow Month ago

    My headaches are caused by being in front of the screen 24/7

  • i mean
    i mean Month ago +4

    What are headaches? (Short)
    -Sleeping like you’re in a different Timezone.
    -Eating (over or under)
    -etc cause I can’t name more.
    What happens?
    *your body punishes you*

  • Creative Username
    Creative Username Month ago

    First off, i get tension headaches all the time. I used to have them every monday and friday when i was 7, 8 and 9. Second, a couple days ago i had a tension headache and was wondering what the actual headache pain was. I hadnt said it out loud to anyone, or googled it. But somehow, this video appears in my recommended.

  • Amano Yuckitero
    Amano Yuckitero Month ago

    Is there a way to induce the kind of headache which gives hallucinations?

  • bienbo_20
    bienbo_20 Month ago

    who else is having a headache while watching?

  • Tesla Mark
    Tesla Mark Month ago

    Dang it , now i Can smell someone headache

  • Manpreet Kaur
    Manpreet Kaur Month ago +4

    Cluster headaches.. I get them all the time

    • Manpreet Kaur
      Manpreet Kaur 28 days ago

      +Smamy Smoop I believe you.. For sure it was ... Lol

    • Smamy Smoop
      Smamy Smoop 28 days ago +1

      Manpreet Kaur I had one for a while and it was so annoying.

  • GL-Broz 1249
    GL-Broz 1249 Month ago +1

    I suffer from cluster headache but knew about it from here😮😮😮
    But there is no remedy for this😫😫😫

  • Cody Zackmin
    Cody Zackmin Month ago

    The left part of my head have a headache for a week and i dont know what to do

  • Visal Aing
    Visal Aing Month ago

    I got that clusterer headache before.
    I feel like something is burning my one eye and i try to wash my face with but it didn't work so what i did is take ice on my eye. It happens quite often once a month😣
    Edited: sorry some grammar😳

  • Saucy Sausage Delicious Meat

    The eye headaches one for me it different, it feels ultra itchy behind one eyeball that i can't scratch.

  • /FatHobo\
    /FatHobo\ Month ago

    I got a headache from watching til tok memes

  • Zach Lol
    Zach Lol Month ago

    I think I have a migraine headache

  • Alperen Başer
    Alperen Başer Month ago

    I have migraine and sinus. Yeah . Yeah...

  • EddieMuff 03
    EddieMuff 03 Month ago

    I had the worst migraines from age 7 to 13

  • Bhushan Garje
    Bhushan Garje Month ago +3

    Head can cause headache. Simple.

  • bbuba.
    bbuba. Month ago

    ted ed: primary headaches are not symptomatic of any disease.
    dude: :D!
    ted ed: they *are* the condition.
    dude: D:!

  • Ethan Bennett
    Ethan Bennett Month ago

    The add before this video gave me one

  • Beatrix Kiddo
    Beatrix Kiddo Month ago

    this type of videos are good before sleep

  • Rupal Rout
    Rupal Rout Month ago

    migraine pains a lot

  • Cephachrome
    Cephachrome Month ago

    Sponsored by IKEA

  • golden G TV
    golden G TV Month ago

    Who else has a headache and watches this?

  • viscous moon
    viscous moon Month ago

    I get a headache while looking down, is is wrong?

  • The "K"
    The "K" Month ago


  • Moto Vigilant
    Moto Vigilant Month ago

    TVclip recommended this just when I was having one.

  • EZ hayat
    EZ hayat Month ago

    Watching the video while having a bad migraine.. i'd prefer a hole in my head ri8 now,🙄

  • Super Min
    Super Min Month ago

    It’s a glitch

  • Mateo Magnus
    Mateo Magnus Month ago

    I guess it could a different subject but I thought Aneurysms were going to be mentioned

  • Shrimoy Roy
    Shrimoy Roy Month ago

    Who else is watching the video while having headache?

  • John Watson
    John Watson Month ago

    The animation is soooooooo cute

  • Sara Zaidi
    Sara Zaidi Month ago

    Best teded ever

  • Imani Maldonado
    Imani Maldonado Month ago +2

    *Mind blown*

    Heh get it?

  • patato cope
    patato cope Month ago

    Life gives you lemons 👌🤘

  • accident boi
    accident boi Month ago

    sometimes my left part of my brain along with my eye hurts for a moment sometimes more

  • Фяì Tu
    Фяì Tu Month ago +2

    Right Answer: People

    NETI ZEN Month ago

    *Drill a hole for a headache no way!.*

  • Mr Memes
    Mr Memes Month ago

    Ow, my head...

  • Andrew Wells
    Andrew Wells Month ago

    Many years ago I had terrible headaches which was caused by a build up of spinal fluid in my head. The fluid was blocked by a brain tumour!!

  • Rohit Pant
    Rohit Pant Month ago +2

    What a great representation through animation. So informative!

  • IT'S RIR360
    IT'S RIR360 Month ago

    1:24 look at the second picture from right.
    By the way the video is headache itself. 😣

  • Krissy Bea
    Krissy Bea Month ago

    I have a brain scan next week because I get headaches so often

  • Lost n' Found
    Lost n' Found Month ago

    Over the years I have come to realise DEHYDRATION causes 99% of headaches. Water flushes toxins from the brain and obviously hydrates. Headaches are mostly caused by a lack of water.