Chronic Daily Headache

Everyone gets a headache once in a while. Every day, one in roughly 20 adults has a headache. Most are annoying run-of-the-mill tension headaches that go away with an over-the-counter pain reliever. But if you experience a daily headache not related to another medical condition 15 days or more every month for at least three months, you may then suffer from chronic daily headache.

A chronic daily headache can be triggered by a variety of physical, environmental and lifestyle factors, including:

  • Stress: pressure at work or home, financial pressure, anxiety, depression, grief
  • Diet: skipping meals, fasting, certain foods, food preservatives, alcohol and red wine, coffee, tea, cola, artificial sweetener, excess sugar
  • Sleep: lack of sleep, too much sleep, change in sleep habits
  • Hormonal: menstrual cycle, postpartum, menopause
  • Lighting: bright or glaring lights, flashing lights or screens
  • Physical: overexertion, exercising in the heat

Chronic daily headaches are divided into two groups — headaches that last more than four hours, and those that have a shorter duration. Headaches lasting more than four hours are categorized into four types of chronic daily headaches:

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