AdventHealth Health Hub: Mirgraine Solutions For Chronic Sufferers
You’re not alone. Headaches, including migraines, may be more common than you think.
For those who suffer from migraines, the fear of one striking at the worst moment is almost as impactful as the pain of the headache itself. According to the American Migraine Foundation, more than 37 million Americans suffer from migraines. About 2% of the population suffer from chronic migraine, the most disabling form of migraine.
Chronic Daily Headaches
A headache is bad, but frequent headaches can make going to work, taking care of children and other daily responsibilities seem impossible. A chronic daily headache is one that occurs 15 days or more a month for longer than three months.
The type of headache can vary, including:
• Affects one or both sides of your head.
• Can cause nausea or vomiting, as well as sensitivity to light and sound.
• Causes moderate to severe pain.
• Presents with a pulsating, throbbing pain.
• May worsen by routine physical activity.
CHRONIC TENSION-TYPE HEADACHE
• Affects both sides of your head.
• Causes mild to moderate pain.
• Presents with a pressing or tightening feeling.
CHRONIC CLUSTER HEADACHE
• Causes severe pain on one side of the head lasting 15 minutes to three hours.
• Can occur multiple times a day.
• Presents with red or teary eyes, stuffy nose and/or restlessness among other symptoms.
• Usually does not subside if no prevention is given.
NEW DAILY PERSISTENT HEADACHE
• Begins suddenly, and you usually remember the date of the onset.
• Causes pain that becomes constant within 24 hours of onset.
• May affect one or (usually) both sides of your head.
Caring for Your Headaches
Infrequent headaches are common for many people and are probably not a cause for concern.
Consider seeking help if:
• You have two or more headaches per week
• Your headache pattern changes or gets worse
• You start experiencing headaches suddenly
• Current headache medications are not working
• Your headaches are becoming so severe that your quality of life is being affected and you are missing social gatherings, school and/or work
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, consider seeking a referral to a headache specialist. A headache specialist will work to improve your quality of life by identifying the cause of your condition and developing a treatment program for you.
Bernadette Nazario, MD, PharmD, is a board certified neurologist, who is also board-certified in Headache Medicine. She is the Medical Director of Headache Medicine at AdventHealth Medical Group Neurology. She specializes in evaluating and treating a wide range of headaches and facial pain.