A chronic headache or 'chronic daily headache' is a rare condition. The medical name for this condition is Hemicrania Continua. Even though the condition is rare, it is completely treatable. This is why it is important to diagnose the condition properly so that it can be treated.
Researchers became aware of this condition only after 1981. A number of people suffering from this condition have been diagnosed since then and it has been found that the condition is seen more frequently in adult females than it is seen in any other group of people. The exact cause of this problem still has not been determined but excessive physical exertion and alcohol consumption seems to be major causes.
Diagnosing a Chronic Headache
Chronic headaches are often misdiagnosed as chronic migraines. In these cases, the patients do not respond to the medicine that is prescribed for the chronic migraine. This is why it is important to diagnose it correctly so that it can be treated immediately.
Most people who suffer from this condition usually have unilateral pain. This means that the pain is on one side of the head. However, some patients have bilateral pain. This means that addition to a dull pain that is felt all the time, the patient may also get sudden stabs of sharp and shooting pain. Some features of hemicrania continua are:
• Headaches ranging from mild to moderate pain that are experienced only on one side of the face or the head which keep coming up daily for at least three months
• An immediate response to indomethacin treatment
• Intense pain that is accompanied by a migraine which occurs periodically or a cluster of symptoms like irritated eyes, nausea, a nosebleed, drooping eyelids, etc.
A person suffering from this problem may find that fatigue, caffeine or pressure applied to the neck may aggravate the symptoms and make the pain worse.
How to Treat a Chronic Headache
Patients who are diagnosed with chronic headaches are usually given a course of a medicine called indomethacin. Depending on the seriousness of the condition, the dose could vary from 25mg to 3000mg. Many patients are also given medication to suppress acid in the stomach along with the indomethacin since it can cause this problem for certain people. Just one dose of this medicine a day can give patients instantaneous relief. Other medications may be prescribed instead of indomethacin if the patient shows any side effects. If you suspect that you are suffering from Hemicrania Continua, you should visit a doctor so that you can be prescribed the best medicine to deal with your condition.