“Chronic” comes from the ancient greek mythology name Chronos meaning “time”. When we talk about chronic headache we mean a reoccuring headache. How often it hits depends on several factors. To know if you have chronic headache: consider how many days of the months you have headache… Was it more days than not? Then you could have experienced a pain called chronic daily headaches. This is not to compare with having headache every now and then. It’s only when you have headaches for a majority of days per month that you’re suffering from chronic daily headaches.
Around 3-5% in the world is estimated to suffer from this.
There are four different types of chronic daily headaches:
- Chronic migraine
- Chronic tension-type headache
- New daily persistent headache
- Hemicrania continua
Chronic migraines is often the result of having a migraine without aura. It often afftects one side of your head with pulsuating pain. Physical activity is hard to achieve and will in most cases make it worse. Depending on the severity, a feeling of nausea will follow and sometimes vomiting.
Chronic tension-type headache differs from chronic migraine in the sense that it hurts on both sides of your head. The feeling is somewhat overwhelming since it’s all around your head, almost like a helmet of some sort. A “helmet of pain” is maybe a fitting word? Chronic tension-type headache can make you feel nausious too but not as much. Sensitive to light and sound is also common. Chronic tension-type headache is the type of headache I’ve been suffering from a lot of years during my childhood, you can read more about my story on the home page here.
New daily persistent headache starts suddenly and occurs every three days. This type also affect both sides of your head and have a tightening feeling with a somewhat mild intensity. Sometimes it includes nausea, sensitivity to light and sound.
The last type, hemicrania continua affects one side of your head, never shift side and is daily with no pain-free periods. The pain can vary a lot and can be very severe. Except from the pain which is mental in the sense that you can’t see any trace of it, hemicrania continua has a few physical symptoms. It is common that your eye on the affected side is red and tearing. You could also have a swollen eyelid on the same side as well as a runny nose.