Headaches All the Time

Everyone has had a headache at one time or another. Some can experience a headache in the middle of your forehead or on both sides at the same time, or they can start at one point and travel to another side of your head providing you with a pounding pain or a dull ache. You can have a headache for several days or for less than an hour. Fortunately, there are many ways to handle having a headache that don't require any major medical assistance. Some may ask: what if I have headaches all the time?

What Do I Have Headache All the Time?

1. Headaches from Tension

As one of the most common kinds of headache, it refers to a regular headache and feels as though you have a band around your head that is stretched to the limit. Generally, a tension headache can persist around from 30 minutes to a couple of days and won't bother your regular activities.

Even though the exact cause has not been determined, a tension headache may be attributed to dehydration, stress, skipping meals and even poor posture. You can easily seek relief from aspirin or ibuprofen as well as drinking plenty of fluids, getting a good night's sleep, and alleviating stressful situations.

2. Migraines

While a migraine isn't as common as a tension headache, the symptoms can be quite severe. You can expect nausea, vomiting, throbbing pain on both sides of your head, and sensitivity to sounds and light. A migraine usually lasts from several hours to a couple of days. You may be bedridden until it comes under control. If over-the-counter pain killers don't work, your physician can prescribe medication with stronger effects to ease migraines.

3. Cluster Headaches

This type of headaches seems to happen around the same time of year and last for one or two months at a time. The cluster headaches are very painful and usually affect one eye and result in a runny or blocked nose. Prescribed medications won't help with this kind of headaches, and you'd better seek for medical help.

4. Sleep Deprivation or Stress

When you get tense and have bouts of anxiety issues your head may begin to ache. It will start at your neck and move up to your scalp. You could also be suffering from sleep deprivation or changes in your sleep patterns.

5. Hypoglycemia

You will experience headaches all the time if you are dehydrated or are hypoglycemic. If either of these situations describes the reason for your headache, it will go away once you hydrate yourself again or your blood sugar levels get back to normal.

6. Exposure to Lighting

Sitting under fluorescent lights at work, lighting that is not bright enough or sitting too close to your computer screen are all reasons you might get a headache.

7. Food Choices

Keep an eye out and see if you get headaches every time you have coffee, wine, chocolate or any kind of aged cheeses. Also, skipping meals and eating late at night can cause headache.

8. Hormonal Headaches

Anything that has to do with your hormone levels could cause you to have a headache: your menstrual cycle, pregnancy, menopause or being on birth control pills. Taking a good rest and eating healthy foods helps to avoid a headache around your period.

9. Other Reasons

You may have headaches all the time due to:

  • A cold or the flu
  • Problems with your jaws or anything to do with issues chewing
  • Sleep apnea
  • Sinusitis
  • Too much alcohol
  • A concussion or head injury
  • ŸCarbon monoxide poisoning

Headaches All the Time—Should I Worry?

Can It Be a Brain Tumor?

If you have other symptoms that associate with the headache, like dizziness, vomiting, nausea, or sometimes seizures, a feeling of weakness in limbs, difficulty speaking, or peripheral vision problems, you may need to see a doctor to examine if you have a brain tumor. Besides, a brain tumor usually causes headache in the morning, which is quite different from the type you have experienced in the past. Also, if your headache presists for weeks or even months, you should understand that it can be a warning sign for a brain tumor.

Rule Out Meningitis

If you have been able to go through the list of possible causes for having headaches all the time you should make sure that you do not have meningitis. This illness starts with a very painful headache as well as a fever and stiff neck. If you have both of these symptoms along with a headache get to your physician right away.


If you are not sure about contacting your doctor about your chronic headaches just think: SNOOP which stands for systemic symptoms, neurologic symptoms, onset, older and progression.

  • Systemic signs include weight loss or getting a fever. If you are not diagnosed with these HIV or a cancer, with these signs you should contact your physician immediately.
  • Neurologic signs include blurry vision, changes in your personality, a sharp pain in your face, and numbness on one side of the body.
  • Onset could signal a "thunderclap" headache, because they occur without any warning. Under this condition, you should get an immediate medical visit to rule out the bleeding in the brain.
  • Elderly. If you are more than 50 years of age and have a sudden unexplained headache you should seek medical attention to make sure you don't have a tumor in your brain or giant cell arteritis.
  • Progression means you are experiencing a headache that is unlike your regular headaches. Contact your doctor right away if you have never had a headache so bad in the past.

How to Relieve Headaches All the Time

1. Things You Can Do at Home

  • Avoid stressful situations
  • Exercise on a regular basis
  • Apply an ice pack or a heat pack to your neck or head
  • Take a hot shower
  • Don't skip meals
  • Get plenty of rest

2. Alternative Treatments

Here are some treatments you may want to look into:

  • Hypnosis
  • Treatments from a chiropractor
  • Meditation
  • Acupuncture
  • Herbal or natural products
  • Cognitive behavior therapy

3. Take Physical Exercise

If you are not on a regular exercise program, you have nothing to lose by incorporating one into your daily routine. Exercise on a regular basis can help improve your posture and it can also increase your circulation which will help to eliminate some of the stress in your life.

4. Medications

Amitriptyline can help to relieve migraine headaches. These medications take quite a while to kick in. If you have the time to invest in, take this medication for 4 to 6 weeks to see if it works, or reduces the number of headaches. Other medications like acetaminophen, ibuprofen and aspirin can be taken for treating tension headaches.

Due to the possible side effects of Reye syndrome of ibuprofen, just remember don't give this medication to your child. If you suspect that you have bleeding within the head caused by injuries subdural hematoma or aneurysm, avoid taking aspirin. Also, inform your physician when you take pain relieve medications for a period of 3 days to 7 days.

5. Keep a Headache Diary

You can provide your physician with enough information by keeping a headache diary so that he or she can get a idea why you have headaches all the time. You can include these things into your diary:

  • What day and time did your headache start?
  • Everything you ate for the past 24 hours
  • How many hours did you sleep the night before?
  • What did you do or think about right before you fell asleep?
  • Do you have any stress at this time?
  • How long did your headache last?
  • What treatments did you use to make your headache go away?