What are the common and rare causes of constant headaches

Chronic or constant headaches which occur for more than fifteen days in a month, and last for more than three consecutive months. These can happen in continuous patterns or intermittently. Chronic headaches can become a cause of concern when they start to interrupt your routine life.

Typically there are four primary causes of constant headaches –

  • Migraine
  • Tension headaches
  • Hemicrania Continua
  • New daily persistent headache

Common causes of constant headaches

  • Migraine – A chronic form of migraine cause discomfort to an individual for more than eight days in a month, for at least three months. Migraines can affect one or both sides of your head, and the pain can range from the scale of moderate to severe. Usually, they are triggered by daily physical activity which can lead to an aching and pulsating feeling in the head. Migraines can make one hypersensitive to lights and usual sounds and also cause queasiness. At times the overuse of medications to gain relief from a migraine can backfire and cause a rebound leading to chronic pain.
  • Tension headaches – Also known as a stress headache, tension headaches usually trigger discomfort in both sides of the brain. Unlike a chronic migraine, this type of a constant headache causes sensations of tightness around the head. Some of the common triggers for a tension headache are mental stress, sinus infection, tiredness, alcohol and smoking, straining the eyes for prolonged periods, lousy posture, seasonal cold or flu.

Rare causes of constant headaches

  • New daily persistent headache – This type of chronic pain is observed in people without any headache history. Since there are no prior incidences of headaches, most patients are able to remember the exact time of its onset. It has a combination of symptoms which are similar to tension headaches and migraine. However, it is not triggered by everyday physical activities.
  • Hemicrania continua – A type of primary headache disorder, it only causes pain on one side of the brain. There are moderate or severe episodes of pain on a daily basis. Hemicrania continua can cause watery eyes, inflammation in the eye situated on the side of the affected area, congestion in the nose, restlessness, runny nose, droopy eyelids, etc.

Some of the other uncommon causes of constant headaches are traumatic injuries, brain tumor, infections, issues with the blood vessels situated in the brain, excessive or little intracranial pressure, etc.

If you identify with the causes of constant headaches above then immediately seek medical assistance, especially if you sense that you have to use OTC painkillers to alleviate the symptoms persistently. With an accurate diagnosis, you can take effective steps to manage the discomfort.

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Headache

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