Chronic daily headaches are headaches that occur at least fifteen days out of the month. They are common in people who have a history of episodic migraines. Symptoms include:
Tension-type chronic headaches have a pressing sensation, while a migraine chronic headaches have a throbbing or pulsing feeling. Patients suffering from this condition often have an underlying headache at all times, yet they also suffer from episodic migraines regularly. Physicians attempt to prevent pain by prescribing medications that will not give the patient a rebound headache; these include beta-blockers, antidepressants, or anti-seizure medications. It is often helpful to educate patients about headaches and the importance of attention to routine as well.
Cluster headaches are one of the most painful headaches and are usually felt on one side of the head or behind one eye. They cause a drooping eyelid, nasal congestion, watery eyes, or enlarged pupils. Cluster headaches have a cyclical pattern, occurring multiple times over a few weeks, then not again for months or even years. Patients suffering from these headaches are often more comfortable pacing or moving around rather than being still. Physicians have many treatments that aim to prevent or lessen this pain; this ranges from various medications to nerve blocks or local anesthetics.
A menstrual migraine is a migraine that occurs during a woman's menstrual cycle. Migraines are related to hormone levels, so when a woman's estrogen drops before she begins her period, she is more likely to develop a migraine. Physicians recommend taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, though the specific selection depends on the pain level of the migraine. These should be taken two days before the menstrual cycle begins and continued until it is finished.
Migraines are severe headaches often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and heightened sensitivity to sound and light. The cause of migraines is unknown, but it is believed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Patients experiencing migraines are often most comfortable in a dark, quiet place. To treat migraines, physicians prescribe pills ranging from ibuprofen to more intense medications such as triptans. In addition, caffeine is sometimes helpful to relieve pain.
Rebound headaches are headaches that occur as a response to an overuse of headache medication. If a patient takes a headache medicine daily or for a long period of time, they can develop a headache as the effects of the medication wear off. This is often a sign of a rebound headache. To treat this issue, physicians will help the patient reduce or stop the intake of the problematic medication. The headaches will likely get worse before they improve. Physicians can prescribe preventive headache medications for the future that will not cause rebound headaches.
A status migraine is a migraine that lasts for over 72 hours. Status migraines sometimes require hospital visits in order to prevent dehydration from vomiting; physicians can insert an IV for rehydration and pain medication. If a patient suffers migraines regularly, there are preventive medications that can be prescribed to try to avoid the onset of a migraine.