Chronic Daily Headache

CHRONIC DAILY HEADACHE

Chronic daily headaches (CDH), in order to be classified as chronic, must occur at least 15 days or more a month, for at least three months. Even further, to be considered primary chronic daily headaches, they must also not be the result of another condition.

Chronic daily headaches are divided into four types:

  • Chronic tension-type headache
  • New daily persistent headache
  • Chronic migraine
  • Hemicrania continua

CHRONIC MIGRAINE

To be diagnosed with a chronic migraine, you must have headaches—tension-type, migraine or both—for 15 days or more a month, for at least three months. You must also experience headache frequency eight or more days a month for at least three months and experience the following symptoms:

  • Pulsating, throbbing sensation
  • Moderate to severe pain
  • Pain aggravated by routine physical activity
  • Affect only one side of your head

And they cause at least one of the following:

  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

CHRONIC TENSION-TYPE HEADACHE

Chronic tension-type headaches commonly evolve from episodic tension-type headaches that last hours or may be constant.

Chronic tension-type headaches have at least two of the following characteristics:

  • Mild to moderate pain
  • Pain that feels pressing or tightening, but not pulsating
  • Aren’t aggravated by routine physical activity
  • Pain on both sides of head

In addition, they cause no more than one of the following:

  • Mild nausea
  • Sensitive to light
  • Sensitive to sound

NEW DAILY PERSISTENT HEADACHE

A new daily persistent headache is a daily and unremitting headache where the pain is typically bilateral, pressing or tightening in quality and of mild to moderate intensity. There may be photophobia, phonophobia or mild nausea.

New daily persistent headaches have at least two of the following characteristics:

  • Cause mild to moderate pain
  • Hurt on both sides of your head
  • Cause pain that feels like pressing or tightening, but not pulsating
  • Aren’t aggravated by routine physical activity

In addition, they cause no more than one of the following:

  • Mild nausea
  • Sensitivity to light
  • sensitivity to sound

HEMICRANIA CONTINUA

Hemicrania continua headaches are marked by their tendency to occur unilaterally (on one side of the head). They also:

  • Cause moderate pain but with spikes of severe pain
  • Are daily and continuous with no pain-free periods
  • May sometimes become severe with development of migraine-like symptoms
  • Respond to the prescription pain reliever indomethacin (Indocin)

Also, hemicrania continua headaches cause at least one of the following:

  • Nasal congestion or runny nose
  • Drooping of the eyelid or constriction of the pupil
  • Tearing or redness of the eye on the affected side

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