Chronic Daily Headaches: Causes, Signs, Symptoms, Complications, Tests

Each one of us suffers from regular headaches occasionally. However if you are experiencing frequent headaches or it stays for more number of days, it is possible that you might be having chronic daily headaches.

Chronic daily headaches can be severe when they are not treated properly or in time. A proper treatment is necessary for the proper cure of these chronic daily headaches.

Chronic Daily Headaches in Children

Children may also suffer from chronic daily headaches. This pain syndrome is complex in children and is multi-faceted. Chronic daily headache is of two types, primary and secondary. The subtypes of this syndrome are chronic migraine and chronic tension. The syndrome is co-morbid with severe pain, vomiting tendency, depression, anxiety, sleeping disorders etc. the most important way of preventing chronic daily headaches is to treat it early. The more you ignore it, the severe it will turn to be. There are psychological therapies related to the treatment of chronic daily headaches in children. Relaxation techniques, acupuncture and cognitive behavioral therapy are some of the important ways of treating chronic daily headaches.

Parental support is immensely required in treating chronic daily headaches in children. Regular medical consultation is required to recover a child from such debilitating disorder.

Causes of Chronic Daily Headaches

Chronic Daily Headaches

There are multiple reasons for chronic daily headaches. The primary cause of chronic daily headaches is however unknown. The most possible causes of chronic daily headaches are:

  • Chronic daily headaches can be caused by the irregularities in the blood vessels around the brain. The severe pain can cause stroke as well in the sufferer.
  • Meningitis infections also cause severe chronic daily headaches in a person.
  • Fluctuations in the intracranial pressure may cause chronic daily headaches.
  • Brain tumor can lead to chronic daily headaches.
  • Any injury in the brain due to any traumatic incident can later lead to chronic daily headaches.

Medication Overuse Headache

In medication overuse headaches, the patients usually have an episodic headache disorder. This is more a tension type or related to migraine. It includes many medicine consumptions. There remains high risk of severe head pains during the course of counter analgesics. This can extend for a period of even two or more days in a week.

Signs and Symptoms of Chronic Daily Headaches

Since chronic daily headaches are recurrent in nature, they stay in a person from 10 to 15 days in a month and are much frequent. Primary chronic daily headaches can occur in a person in any moment.

The regular or daily headaches include: Chronic migraine, New daily persistent headache, Hemicrania continua, Chronic tension-type headache.

  1. Signs and Symptoms of Chronic Daily Headache that is Migrainous in Nature

    This is a type of chronic daily headaches which occurs in people with episodic migraine history. This is a more frequent syndrome and occurs 8 to 10 days a month. Migraine infected people suffer more from the following symptoms:

    • Affects single or sometime both the sides of the sufferer’s head.
    • The sufferers usually have a pulsating or throbbing sensation.
    • The pain is moderate to severe in the sufferer.
    • The regular routine physical activity of the person is highly affected due to the pain attacks.

    Chronic migraine headaches can even cause the followings:

    • Nausea or vomiting tendency
    • Irritation to sound and light
  2. Signs and Symptoms of New Daily Persistent Headaches

    This form of chronic daily headaches occurs suddenly in persons who never had any record of any headache. This occurs at once and is often painful. The following characteristics or symptoms are found in this syndrome:

    • Pain occurs in both the sides of the head
    • A non-pulsating and tight pressure of pain is felt
    • The pain is controllable and not much severe
    • Does not affect the daily work routine of physical activity.
  3. Hemicrania Continua Headaches

    These headaches are another type of chronic daily headaches and have the following symptoms:

    • One side of the head is painful
    • It is a constant pain with no interval
    • The pain is controllable
    • Indomethacin (Indocin) is mostly prescribed
    • Rarely the pain becomes severe in people affected from migraine infection.

    Apart from these, hemicrania continua headaches may involve the following:

    • Redness of eye on the pained part of the head
    • Nasal congestion or flow from nose
    • Narrowing tendency of pupil or drooping eyelid
    • Feeling of restlessness.
  4. Signs and Symptoms of Chronic Daily Headaches that is Chronic Tension-Type in Nature

    Tension headaches are a type of chronic daily headaches which usually have the following symptoms:

    • The pain occurs in both the sides of the head
    • Controllable pain
    • Non-pulsating pain
    • Mild to moderate headache
    • Skull tenderness is often recorded in some people.

When is the Right Time to Visit a Doctor if you are Experiencing Chronic Daily Headache?

If you are experiencing frequent headaches in a month, you should not wait to see the doctor. However occasional headaches may be considered normal. You should immediately visit a doctor if you have the following symptoms:

  • Person suffering from headaches for more than twice in a week, for a period of month.
  • Frequent consumption of pain relievers in a particular period of time.
  • More consumption of pain relievers than the usual prescription.
  • Severe headaches with irritation and vomiting tendency.
  • Worst head pains.
  • Disabling pain due to frequent attacks of headaches.

Immediately consult a medical practitioner in case of the following:

  • Severe and serious head pain.
  • Head pain with confusion, double vision, numbness, stiff neck, seizure, weakness or difficulty speaking.
  • After a head injury.
  • Worst headache even after medication and rest.

Factors of Risk for Chronic Daily Headaches

Factors of risk for chronic daily headaches are:

  • Female sex
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Disturbances in sleeping
  • Snoring while sleeping
  • Too much consumption of caffeine
  • Too much consumption of headache medication
  • Many other significant conditions of chronic pain.

Complications for Chronic Daily Headaches

People suffering from chronic daily headaches are more attacked by sleeping disorders, depression, physical weakness, nervous breakdown, anxiety etc…

Tests to Diagnose Chronic Daily Headaches

The diagnosis of chronic daily headaches involves a through scanning of the medical history of the sufferer and other illness or infections present in him. Certain neurological problems are also the cause chronic daily headaches in a person.

Imaging tests like MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) or CT (Computed Tomography) Scans are prescribed to diagnose the syndrome by medical consultants.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:January 30, 2019

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