Headache-Adviser.com

Headache Every Day

by Janay S.
(Birmingham)

Migraine Symptoms

Migraine Symptoms

Hi..

I've been suffering with severe headaches since I was about 13 yrs. old I'm currently 19 yrs. old.

On a daily basis I have headaches. 9 times out of 10 the headaches are horrible they start in different areas behind my eyes, my forehead, temple, the back of my head, basically all areas of my head. I also get sick when having headaches (queasy, nausea,dizziness,sensitivity to smells, lights, sounds, moving, breathing too deeply, standing, lying down, sitting up, etc.)

I've been seen about them but the doctors always insist that its only a normal headache (but I think its more). I was told to wear glasses I've worn glasses for about 2 to 3 yrs and the headaches persist. I'm running out of options. Can you please tell what can I do?

Answer

Hello Janay,

First of all there is no such thing as a "normal headache." Headaches are not normal. Period. They are an indication that something in the body is wrong..usually this is how pain of any type tells us something is wrong.



What you are describing are the classic migraine headache symptoms. The most common cause is stress, but other things can trigger them too. Some women get hormone headaches and many people get barometric pressure headaches.

If you are having a headache everyday you need to see a neurologist, preferably one who specializes in headache. You may have to do some research in your area to find one.

If you are taking over the counter medications to treat these headaches you should stop. This actually makes the headaches worse and is a condition called analgesic rebound headaches.

Many teens respond well to holistic therapy including vitamins of B2, feverfew and magnesium. You can find these online called "Migralief". Give it 90 days to see the full response.

Good luck!
Mary Kay Betz MS RPA-C

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Headache Every Day

by Alex
(Long island)

Sources of Headaches

Sources of Headaches

For the past 5 months now I have been having this headache over my left eyebrow. It is always in the same spot and does not go away till I take advil. Some days the pain is barely there while others it feels like some one is punching me and it is hard to concentrate on anything. What do you think this could be?

Answer

Hi Alex,

A new onset of a headache every day can be a bit concerning. You do not mention if you have seen your doctor yet so the first thing I would advise is to get checked out. New headaches should have a CT or MRI of the brain to rule out bad stuff!

You also need to consider the effect of lifestyle in relation to headache and look at medical causes of headaches.

Next bit of advice is to stop over using Advil to treat this headache. You are moving into chronic daily headache or analgesic rebound headache. This is one of the recurring headache causes.

As to the actual diagnosis of what type of headache you are having, without more information, it could range from a migraine to a tension type headache. Any type of pain that becomes more severe results in the person having difficulty concentrating on things, so that complaint is "abnormally normal" so to speak.

Call your doctor...good luck!

Mary Kay Betz MS RPA-C

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Causes of Headache

by Dennis
(Arizona)

Migraines For Life

Migraines For Life

I was given my first pair of glasses when I was 12. I had developed headaches on a regular basis and my teacher suggested getting my eyes checked. My new eye doctor soon became my best friend, I would pop in and see him at least twice a week. That's how often I needed to get my glasses straightened.



The glasses cured my headaches, sort of. If they were out of adjustment in any way, the headaches were back. The Optometrist said I had good eyes and did not need to wear the glasses all the time. But it was not that simple for me, when I wore them my headaches were gone, when I took them off they were back in minutes.

We went to Florida on vacation the next year and I was splashing in the Gulf of Mexico. A wave came in, over my head, and knocked my glasses off. For at least the next hour my sisters and my parents were searching the ocean floor for the glasses that were not to be found.

My mom had an idea, we bought a pair of sunglasses to see if they would help. They did, and for the next two weeks I must have looked like a pretty goofy 13 year old, because I never took them off.

Shortly after high school I had a job working outdoors. The constant sweat made wearing glasses very uncomfortable and I found my self going without them for longer and longer periods of time. While working outdoors I was also wearing a cap. In a few months time I was wearing a cap all the time instead of the glasses. I have not worn glasses in forty years but my cap goes on first thing in the morning and off the last thing at night.

Occasions where I need to be without my cap can still be very hard on me, especially if it is outdoors or under bright lights. So I have thought I have light sensitive eyes and let it go at that for all this time.

Just a few minutes without my cap reminds me that whatever my condition is, it is still with me. Changing caps is even something I dread doing. My loved ones remind me from time to time that my cap is getting dirty, so I find a clean one, and usually after the third day the cap feels comfortable and the headaches go away. There have been times when after a week the cap was not comfortable and I had to try a different one.

There is one positive to this long story. I am one easy guy to shop for on special occasions. Buy me an Arizona D-backs cap or a Phoenix Suns cap and I am a happy camper.

So, any idea that's the matter with me?

Answer:

Hi Dennis,

Your headaches may have been migraine since photophobia or light avoidance is part of the symptoms. However, chronic tension headache may also cause photophobia.(although a bit rare.)

At this point if you are still having chronic daily headaches you should consider seeing a headache specialist. This would be a neurologist who specializes in headache and migraine.

The chronic photophobia is caused by central sensitization of the brain...what that means is the optic nerves and other parts of the brain are overly sensitive due to the chronic pain state. Not unusual with chronic migraines and headaches. Thus the need for the hat and/or sunglasses to avoid bright light.

If you have not had an MRI of the brain, this should be considered, in addition to other medical causes of headache that could be influencing or worsening the problem.

You do not mention any other treatments, but if you are using OTC meds or anti-inflammatories to treat these headaches, please stop. This is common in headache for patients to do this but unfortunately results in analgesic rebound headaches.

You do not say where you live in Arizona, but I can tell you there are many headache specialists listed by the National Headache Foundation for your state. Start with your primary care MD and ask who in your area is the headache specialist.

Good luck!
Mary Kay Betz MS RPA-C


COMMENTS:


I can really relate to your advice on rebound headaches. As a teenager I was taking 8 Excedrin a day (2 every 4 hours). I always thought my stomach must be made of iron because I didn't have side effects at the time. However now I suffer from Acid Reflux disease. I guess that could be related.

In my twenties when I became pregnant I was not allowed any kind of pain relievers. To my surprise I stopped having the headaches. The cure to my headaches, stop taking pain relievers.

After childbirth, don't ask me why, but I started taking Excedrin again and went through the 4 hour cycle for a long time again.

I finally discussed this with my doctor who described rebound headaches to me. I stopped taking Excedrin again and eventually I became headache free. That was many years ago.

On the rare occasion that I do get a headache now I take plain old Aspirin. When I read the Excedrin label I noticed it contained caffeine (an addictive substance) as well as pain reliever.

Connie from http://www.your-cup-of-tea.com

Answer:

Hi Connie!

Classic case of analgesic rebound headaches, also now called medication overuse headache.

Did you see the dose of caffeine in Excedrine? 60mg per dose! A Diet Pepsi has only 35mg.

Glad you are feeling better now. It would be OK to take an Excedrine once in awhile if you need to, but only if it doesn't bother the GERD.

Mary Kay

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reason for daily headaches

by Wendy
(PA, USA)

Chronic headache by Christa Barnell

Chronic headache by Christa Barnell

On Nov 24 2007 I developed a terrible right sided headache. It was centered around my right eye, forehead, and cheek. It lasted for 10 days. Prior to this headache I had no previous migraine/severe headache history - just the normal garden variety headache that went away with two advil. As soon as the severe headache broke I was aware of right sided neck/shoulder pain too. Since then I have battled almost daily right sided headaches and neck/shoulder pain. The headaches have not returned as severe as the original but still significantly impact my life.

My brain MRI came back normal. A cervical MRI shows four moderately bulging discs. I am trying to understand if my headaches with such sudden onset could be cervicogenic headaches or if it is NPDH (new daily persistant headache.) I originally thought it related to my neck but now after reading about NDPH the sudden onset and ability to pinpoint the exact start date sound more like that.

However, I think it's still quite interesting that the headache and neck/shoulder pain are on the same side. My headaches change multiple times in a day - it will be there for an hour and then gone for an hour. It may be there for a week and then gone for three days. In addition to the baseline ache I also get stabbing pains in my eye sometimes (eye exams have all turned out normal.) I typically do not have light or sound sensitivity. My pain is still very frontal and focused around the right eye.

I also have many "knots" and significant muscle tension in trapezius, scalenes, and levator scapulae. Any advice or suggestions you can provide would be SO appreciated. I am not sure what else to do and am desperate to get back to a more "normal" life.

Answer:

Hi Wendy,

I am glad you had imaging studies done. Sometimes even bulging discs can contribute to spasms in the neck. There is one large muscle, the trapezius, which is usually the culprit. It attaches on the skull, goes down the neck, across the shoulder area and ends about half way down your back. It can trigger many headaches during a period of spasming.

I suspect you had lower level migraines (MIDAS I scale) that responded to the occasional Aleve and then for some reason you had an atypical migraine.

What is provoking and continuing the problem now is the neck. The spasms in the neck affect the muscles of the skull..everything cascades forward..hits the trigeminal nerve and BANG. Off you go into another headache around the eye.

We see this type of problem several times a week..perhaps what has thrown off the physician is the atypical migraine part..do you want to go lie down when it is bad? No appetite when it is bad? If yes, it is a migraine.

There are two excellent headache centers in PA..one is in Pittsburgh. Dr. Kaniecki is at the Headache Center at UPMC and Dr. Silberstein is at The Jefferson Headache Center. Both have excellent reputations.

In the meantime, ask you doctor about elavil which is a great anti-spasmotic and treats daily headache. Low doses two hours before bed are best. Physical therapy may help too, together with the medication, and ask your doctor about trigger point injections for the "knots". A migraine medication such as Maxalt or Imitrex should be tried if you can take it, and if it takes the bad headache away then that is somewhat diagnostic for migraine.

Good luck!

Mary Kay Betz MS RPA-C

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