An occasional headache is not uncommon. Maybe it’s allergy season, you had a little too much wine with dinner, or you skipped lunch. There are all kinds of reasons for the occasional headache. Granted, headaches are no fun, but most of the time they are a one-and-done kind of event, until the next one arrives.
If you find that next headache arrives the next day, and the day after that, or with a frequency that’s becoming a nuisance, you may have what’s known as chronic headaches.
Chronic headaches are described as those headaches that occur at least 15 days per month, for a period of six months. They can range from a dull throbbing in your head, to a full-on, debilitating migraine-level pain that keeps you down, and in bed.
Chronic headaches should never be ignored. Daily head pain can interfere with your work, cause you to overuse over-the-counter pain relievers, and prevent you from being your usual charming self.
You need to get to the bottom of your headaches and seek treatment. More often than not, your headaches can be remedied. Dr. Samuel I. Fink, of Tarzana, California, can find the cause of your headache, and treat it accordingly, so you can get back to enjoying your life.
Types of headaches
Headaches come from a variety of reasons. Stress, hormonal surges, dehydration, certain medications, allergies, and many other factors can cause a headache. An underlying medical condition may also cause continued head pain. This type of headache is known as a secondary headache.
Primary headaches are typically caused by conditions localized in the head, neck, and shoulders. Compressed nerves, narrow blood vessels, and tight, tense muscles are some of the causes of primary headaches. That’s why it’s so important to recognize your chronic headache and seek a diagnosis right away. It’s not wise to ignore your chronic headache when relief is available.
“Headache” is a collective term used to describe pain in your head. Dull, throbbing pain, or intense, blinding pain are often experienced by those who suffer with chronic headaches. The type of pain is often an indicator of the kind of headache you have. There are more than 150 different types of headaches. The most common ones are:
- Tension headaches: These types of headaches are the most common and plague adults and teenagers. Tenderness in the head, neck, and possibly shoulders, is common with tension headaches, as is a feeling of pressure behind the eyes.
- Migraine: Probably the most severe of the chronic headaches, a migraine is actually a neurological condition. Most often occurring on one side of the head, migraines can cause intense pain, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, noise, and smell.
- Cluster headaches: Much more common in men than women, cluster headaches cause intense pain, usually around, or behind, one eye. They come on very suddenly, lasting from a few minutes, to hours, and can occur multiple times a day.
- Exertion headaches: These types of headaches are brought on by strenuous physical activity, such as running, weight lifting, and even bouts of coughing. Those who suffer exertion headaches feel a throbbing throughout the head, or even intense pain, similar to migraine. They can last from a few hours to a few days.
- Hypnic headaches: Hypnic headaches strike during sleep and cause you to wake up. They’re more prevalent in adults over 50. The throbbing is felt on both sides of the head and can be mild to severe. You may awaken and experience sensitivity to light and sound, as well as nausea and vomiting. Hypnic headaches usually last no longer than a few hours, but attacks can happen daily.
Get help for headaches
Although most headaches, in and of themselves, cause no permanent damage, the pain alone can disrupt your life. Don’t ignore your chronic headache.
Contact the offices of Samuel I. Fink, MD, today and get to the bottom of your head pain. Dr. Fink and his team of caring professionals want to help you feel better, today, and for all your tomorrows.