Chronic Daily Headache/migraine Continuously For 6 Years With No Relief, Any Ideas?

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Asked by PinkPatty

Chronic Daily Headache/migraine Continuously For 6 Years With No Relief, Any Ideas?

Hi. I am 49 and have had a chronic daily headache for the past 6 years. I wake up with a headache and have it every waking minute of every day. It is extemely stressful to have a moderately painful headache at all times. I also get more severe headaches depending on things like the weather, barometric pressure, humidity, environment, etc. This is a headache between my eyes and across my forhead constantly, the more severe are usually on one side and much worse. I've been on Topamax which has helped to keep these terrible migraines from getting so bad that I am unable to get up out of bed, but I still get worse headaches when these things happen even while on Topamax. I've tried things like Imitrex and Frova but the don't do anything. I've been given quite a few of the other drugs to try but the only relief I've found is the numbing effect of Butalbital — and that's not a good thing — so I'm off that now and back to feeling the pain.

I've been to Neurologists (ruled out everything via cat scans, mri, mra, mrv), ENT (had my nose straightened), allergists (tried allergy shots), chiropractor, pain specialist (tried numbing the nerves in the back of my nasal area), OB/GYN (no hormonal reason). No one has been able to find a reason for these headaches. I've researched everything I can and tried to rule out everything and have gotten no where.

I had been able to help with ibuprophen but then that stopped helping, then thought it could be rebound so I stopped taking everything. Thought maybe caffeine so I gave that up. I've tried everything I can think of. I can't come up with a trigger or pattern since there is no end to the headache, it's continuous.

I don't see many people who seem to be in this same situation. I've had moderate headaches all my life, but never like this before and the stress is really starting to get to me, some days I'd rather just stay in bed. Light hurts, noise hurts, it is no way to live.

Any thoughts? Any ideas? Anyone else been through this?

I'm going to a new doctor next Tuesday and have my hopes up that she can do more than the neurologist I went to a few weeks ago. She basically said that she didn't expect she'd be able to help much. That this wasn't all that uncommon.

Thanks in advance.

Answer

Patty,

Waking with a headache or migraine is VERY often an indication of a sleep issue. Too much, too little, disrupted, and poor quality sleep are all problems that can be triggers. Have you ever discussed your sleep patterns and quality of sleep with your doctor?

In your list of tests you've had, I don't see a lumbar puncture/spinal tap. Have you ever had one? There's a condition called idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) or pseudotumor cerebri in which the spinal fluid pressure is too high. IIH can trigger migraines and cause headaches. You can read more about it in Pseudotumor Cerebri (IIH) - The Basics.

You said you can't identify triggers. Changing weather/barometric pressure changes is a huge trigger for many Migraineurs.

Headaches and migraines that don't respond to treatment are called "intractable." There are several IV infusion treatments that can be used to bring them under control. For more information on this, see IV Treatment of Refractory Migraines.

If your doctor isn't able to help you, it may well be time to consult a migraine and headache specialist. It's important to note that neurologists aren't necessarily migraine and headache specialists. Take a look at the article Migraine and Headache Specialists - What's So Special? If you need help finding a migraine specialist, check our listing of Why, How and Where to Find a Migraine Specialist.

I hope this helps.

Teri

You should know Answers to your question are meant to provide general health information but should not replace medical advice you receive from a doctor. No answers should be viewed as a diagnosis or recommended treatment for a condition.