For some people, headaches can be a source of constant pain that can last for days, weeks, or even longer. These headaches can be debilitating and make it difficult to perform everyday tasks. You must talk to your doctor to discuss treatment options if you suffer from frequent or severe headaches.
In this article, Agile Urgent Care is going to discuss what chronic headaches are, their different types and how you can manage them:
What Are Chronic Headaches?
Chronic headaches refer to headaches that occur more than 15 days per month over three months. They can happen at any age and can be severe enough to interfere with daily activities. The symptoms associated with chronic headaches often result in anxiety, depression, sleep problems, and health issues.
Various types of headaches can become chronic. The most common types include:
Migraines are those intense, throbbing headaches that can last for hours or even days. They often occur with nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. Migraines can be extremely debilitating and can make it difficult to function normally.
Tension headaches are the most common type and are often caused by stress or muscle tension. They often feel like a band tightening around your head and can be accompanied by neck pain. Tension headaches are typically not as severe as migraines but can still be very painful and disruptive.
Cluster headaches are also common and typically affect adults between the ages of 35 and 54. They are characterized by painful, recurring headaches that occur on one or more days each month. Cluster headaches are often treated with medication but can be debilitating if not treated.
Hemicrania continua is one of the types of headaches that is usually constant and one-sided. It may be accompanied by other symptoms, such as nasal congestion, redness in the eye on the affected side, and a drooping eyelid.
The cause of hemicrania continua is unknown, but it is thought to be related to the blood vessels in the head. Treatment typically involves medications such as ibuprofen and indomethacin to reduce inflammation. Surgery may sometimes be necessary to relieve pressure on the blood vessels.
How to Prevent and Manage Chronic Headaches
There are preventive measures you can do to help keep chronic headaches from occurring:
- Stay hydrated. Dehydration is among the most common triggers for headaches, so drink plenty of water throughout the day.
- Avoid known triggers. If you know that certain foods or activities trigger your headaches, do your best to avoid them.
- Get enough sleep. Lack of sleep can trigger headaches, so be sure to get enough rest each night.
- Manage stress. Stress is a common trigger for headaches, so try to find ways to relax and reduce stress in your life.
If you do suffer from chronic headaches, there are a few things you can do to help manage them:
- Take medication. OTC or prescription medications can provide relief from the pain of headaches.
- Use relaxation techniques. Techniques such as following guided meditation or deep breathing can help to relax your body and ease the pain of headaches.
- Apply heat or cold. Applying either a heating pad or perhaps an ice pack to the affected area can help to reduce the pain of headaches.
- See a doctor. If your headaches are severe or don’t respond to self-care, be sure to see a doctor to rule out any underlying medical conditions.
There are different types of chronic headaches, and it is important to identify the type to treat them effectively. Some of the most common chronic headaches are tension headaches, migraines, and cluster headaches. Each type has unique symptoms, and it is essential to know which type you have to get the best treatment. Various treatments are available for chronic headaches, including medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes. You must work with your doctor to find the best treatment for you.
Agile Urgent Care is a full-service medical facility in New Jersey, USA, that accepts walk-in patients and offers state-of-the-art yet affordable medical services for illnesses that require immediate attention but are not serious enough for a trip to the ER. Visit our medical facility today or contact us to know more about the services we offer!