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What are the Common Causes of Constant Headaches?

By Erin J. Hill
Updated May 17, 2024
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Most underlying causes of constant headaches are fully treatable and not life-threatening. Common examples are excessive caffeine consumption, chronic stress, allergies, dehydration, vision problems, and pinched nerves in the neck, shoulders, or back. Sometimes more serious conditions may cause constant headaches, such as brain tumor or hypertension, but these are less likely.

In the majority of cases constant headaches are mild to moderate, although they can be quite painful. Those who work in front of a computer all day are susceptible to such headaches due to eye strain, as are those who need glasses. Drinking too much caffeine and other stimulants may also lead to headaches on a daily basis. Resolving these issues often alleviates pain within a few days.

Sometimes allergies to pollen and mold can lead to constant headaches. This is likely the cause when pain originates in the cheeks, bridge of the nose, or forehead. Other symptoms may also be present. Allergy symptoms can include itchy eyes, watery eyes, sneezing, couching, scratchy throat, runny nose, and sometimes skin irritation. Symptoms can generally be controlled by using an over the counter or prescription allergy medication.

Back and neck stiffness, pinched nerves, and other problems in this area can lead to chronic headaches. Oftentimes pain is also experienced elsewhere, but in some instances, stiffness in the neck and shoulders is not noticed. These headaches can occur in the back of the head as well as the top or sides. Patients who have been injured or who have a known conditions affecting the spine should rule this out as a possibility before seeking additional headache treatments.

Dehydration and stress can also cause constant headaches. Other symptoms of dehydration include fatigue and dark-colored urine. Drinking more water or other clear fluids generally helps. Stress can lead to insomnia, fatigue, mood swings, and stiffness in the joints or muscles. Meditation and avoiding stressful situations as much as possible can help alleviate stress. Sometimes medication may be needed.

The most common causes of constant headaches are usually harmful, although painful. If pain is severe, another condition may be to blame. This is especially true if blurred or changed vision, dizziness, or personality changes occur. These could all be signs of an underlying tumor, aneurysm, or severe hypertension. Each of these conditions is relatively rare, but severe pain Is not normal and may be indicative of a serious health condition.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By Spotiche5 — On Mar 19, 2014

@talentryto- It is always good to hear a personal perspective about what actually helps relieve headaches. I also like the idea of relieving headache pain without medications. Thanks for the tip!

By Talentryto — On Mar 18, 2014

Stress was causing me to have frequent headaches, and I had to do something to get them under control. I don't like to take medications, so with my doctor's approval, I started an exercise program.

Not only do the exercises that I do in my routine each day help me manage the stress in my life, but they also help my muscles by making them less stiff and more flexible. Combined, the results have meant fewer headaches for me.

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