Chronic headaches are defined as lasting more than one day, or continuously occurring. 3 to 5% of adults experience chronic headaches in their daily lives and many other are suspected to experience them as well. These headaches can cause a great deal of irritation in daily life and a considerable amount of pain. There are four types of chronic headaches which are outlined below:
Chronic Migraine: These occur daily and can include throbbing pain. Chronic migraines are caused by a number of things, but the intensity may increase with physical activity, light, or sound. With a regular headache the intensity doesn’t necessarily increase. Nausea and vomiting are also associated with chronic migraines, making them extremely unpleasant.
Chronic Tension Headache: These headaches occur daily and are the same as a traditional tension headache that may occur every so often. They can occur if you have random tension headaches that evolve into chronic daily headaches. Mild pain and nausea are associated with this type of headache. Pregnant women and those with seasonal allergies are likely to experience chronic tension headaches. These headaches also hurt on both parts of your head, not just one side.
New Daily Persistent Headache: These headaches hurt every where and cause nausea, vomiting, and sickness. These aren’t so different from other chronic headaches but they do have more reasons for the pain.
Hemicrania Continua: This headache happens on one side of the head and does not shift position. If it hurts on the left side, it will continue to hurt on that side for an extended period of time. These headaches are very consistent and there are never any pain free periods of time. Basically this is a migraine that lasts 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Tearing, nasal congestion, and runny noses are side effects of hemicranias continua.
Inflammation, brain tumors, viral infections, and brain trauma are all causes for chronic headaches. For many people chronic headaches don’t even have an underlying issue associated with the discomfort and pain. They simply exist and persist until they are treated with some sort of medication. Even then the pain is only minimized or controlled, it doesn’t fix the headache altogether. Taking pain medication too often can actually cause even more headaches, so limit your intake of pain medication if you experience chronic headaches.
Too much caffeine, sleep problems, snoring, obesity, anxiety, depression, nervousness, ADHD, are all contributing factors to chronic headaches. If you continuously get poor sleep and a combination of the above you are at risk for severely damaging your brain. The chronic headaches will go away if you remove the cause. In most cases adults can lessen their caffeine intake which will then improve sleep conditions, and even anxiety. Most problems have a chain reaction, and when one is fixed, the others manage to fix themselves as well.
If you have multiple headaches per week you should always seek medical help. Also note if you are taking pain relievers each day, and if you need more than the average dosage to get rid of the pain. Things in excess can cause more pain and damages, so always see your doctor if any of those things occur for longer than one week.