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Prolonged Migraines

By: Ian Murnaghan BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 4 Nov 2010 | comments*Discuss
 
Migraine Headaches Chronic Prolonged

The term 'prolonged' can refer to a long-lasting headache episode or a prolonged period of time over which many headaches occur. Headaches alone can be quite painful but for those who experience prolonged headaches the pain can be even more distressing and exhausting.

On rare occasions, a prolonged headache may also indicate a serious ailment. They sometimes will occur following skull or brain injury and can be difficult to treat. If your headaches have recently started or are abnormally intense or long lasting, it is suggested that you see your healthcare provider.

Status Migraines

A status migraine is a prolonged migraine headache that occurs for more than seventy-two hours. If a migraine occurs over a long period of time, an inflammatory response is triggered. This form of headache can potentially be very serious and a sufferer may even require hospitalization. Vomiting may often occur and dizziness and visual problems may be present. One class of drugs that may be recommended are corticosteroids. These drugs have potent anti-inflammatory effects and can aid in alleviating the headache.

Intense pain and digestive discomfort such as nausea may accompany a status migraine. The various triggers for migraines may have stronger effects in some individuals, prompting a status migraine. You may wish to keep a headache diary to pinpoint those triggers that cause status migraine onset.

Although reducing triggers is a typical approach, elimination of a trigger may be required due to the extreme pain and intensity of a status migraine. It is thought that stress is a common trigger for status migraines and you may wish to seek out relaxation techniques or other coping mechanisms to address stress in your life.

Prolonged Chronic Daily Headache

Any prolonged or frequent headache is usually classified as chronic. A small percentage of people will experience chronic headaches; these daily headaches may last for many years. It can be frightening for those who do suffer from chronic headaches, as they may worry that a serious disease is causing the headache pain. Fortunately, this is not usually the case. Triggers such as dehydration, intense smells and allergies are thought to be common causes of chronic headaches so you may wish to try to identify and avoid these triggers. Medication overuse is also implicated in prolonged headaches and if you suspect this is the case, consult with your doctor immediately.

Unfortunately, prolonged headaches can really disrupt an individual's daily life. Maintaining work, home and social life can be a challenge and the stressful anticipation of lengthy headache pain itself can trigger a prolonged headache. The impairment of activities can also lead to emotional problems such as depression and anxiety. If this is the case, your doctor may ultimately prescribe anti-depressants.

Other medications commonly used to treat chronic headaches are over-the-counter preparations containing ibuprofen, acetaminophen or triptans. Counselling and support groups are other options for dealing with the emotional tension that may evolve from prolonged pain. Knowing that there are others who share your challenges may help you to learn new ways of treating your prolonged headaches and obtaining relief. If headaches are prolonged and frequent and are ultimately interfering with your day-to-day life, it is time to seek treatment.

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Latest Comments
  • Ugg
    Re: Headaches After Head Injuries
    @Coop - I'm not surprised. It may take a few days. Go to the docs if you feel it's unbearable.
    15 January 2018
  • Coop
    Re: Headaches After Head Injuries
    Played footy this morning and took football into the face and can not shift this heaface i taken asprin but not calimef it down…
    14 January 2018
  • Yoli
    Re: Headaches During The Night
    Every time my husband drinks water at night he wakes up with the headache is that normal?
    13 January 2018
  • mumof3
    Re: Headaches After Head Injuries
    @Tbear & @Stevo - both of you should get yourselves seen to if you are in any way concerned. More so Tbear if you feel sick too.…
    5 January 2018
  • Stevo
    Re: Headaches After Head Injuries
    I banged my head three weeks ago resulting in having 8 stitches and my head still hurts is this normal
    2 January 2018
  • Tbear
    Re: Headaches After Head Injuries
    About a month ago, while I was at work I fell from a 10 foot ladder. I was taken to the hospital and had a the tests and xrays…
    1 January 2018
  • Lisa
    Re: Headaches After Head Injuries
    I got punched in the face a few days ago, and now ive been getting headaches. What does this mean?
    27 December 2017
  • Moe
    Re: Scalp Pain: What Causes It?
    Hair does not grow properly short in some spots long in other pain in the middle of scalp scratching can't take it no more
    24 December 2017
  • Joeboy
    Re: Flicker Illness
    This is very interesting I do know of someone whom has all the symptoms mentioned it will be some comfort for her to know she is not alone and her…
    24 December 2017
  • Hurting
    Re: Headaches After Head Injuries
    Hit my face into car door almost took my eye out now I have pain all around my eyes
    19 December 2017
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