Everyone will suffer from a headache every now and again. Whether it’s poor diet, or lack of sunlight, or too much sunlight, or hormonal imbalance, or a loud environment, or any other number of factors, headaches happen. Most of us can just pop a couple of aspirin and move on.
But other folks aren’t so lucky. Other folks suffer from daily headaches, and these are something to be aware of. Whether they’re the symptom of something potentially deadly like a stroke, or if they’re simply caused by bad posture or too much time in front of a computer screen, daily headaches are no joke and should be dealt with immediately and with extreme care.
In order for the medical establishment to consider your daily headaches to be chronic, they have to happen for at least two weeks a month over a period of ninety days. And, of course, they must not be the cause of another condition or medication. There are four main types of chronic daily headaches, the Chronic migraine, the Chronic tension-type headache, the New daily persistent headache.
The chronic migraine, like all types of daily headaches, must meet the “two weeks out of every month” criteria. To be identified as a chronic migraine, it must affect only one side of your head. It will likely cause a pulsating pain that is very strong, and is aggravated by routine physical activities such as walking or climbing stairs. Like all migraines, the chronic migraine can cause nausea and vomiting and sensitivity to light.
The chronic tension headache will cause pain on both sides of your head, but pain that is less severe than the chronic migraine. It will also be a pain that feels like pressure, rather than a pulsating pain. And typically tension headaches aren’t exacerbated by physical activity.
The difference between the chronic tension-type headache and the new daily persistent headache is the cause. The chronic tension-type headache evolves from an “episode”, some event that dramatically ramps up the tension in your life. The new daily persistent headache has no known source, but becomes chronic almost immediately after the first incidence of a headache. In both cases, the symptoms are similar.
If you have two or more daily headaches a week it’s something you should see a doctor about, especially if they’re accompanied by other symptoms such as fatigue or blurred vision.