Why you may have a headache that won’t go away

Headaches can happen to anyone at anytime for any reason. Sometimes, however, they may be due to serious medical conditions. It is essential for you to acquaint yourself with your headache so that you may get instant medical attention if you need it.

Why do you have a headache that won’t go away? There are several reasons why headaches may last for more than one day, ranging from diet to hormonal imbalances to more severe underlying disorders.

headache that won't go away

Sometime headaches are triggered due to hangover, stress, sinus problems amid a climate change, etc. Similarly, when headaches are impulsive and devastating or complemented by other troublesome red flags, it might indicate there’s something worse happening.

Certainly not every headache is hazardous, but it’s irritating when a persistent headache distresses your ability to do the stuff you enjoy, and many people across the world deal with headaches more frequently than even they would like to admit. Let’s explore some reasons why you may have a headache that won’t go away so you can take back your life.

What is a headache?

A headache can ensue in any part of your skull, either on one side or on both sides of your head. There are various ways to define headaches. According to International Headache Society (HIS), headaches are considered in “primary category” when they are not produced by another condition or when they are caused due to further underlying cause.

Primary headaches

Primary headaches are isolated diseases caused straight by the over activity or problems with structure in the head. The headaches may also occur due to changes in chemical activity in brain.

Common primary headaches include: migraines, cluster headaches and tension headaches.

Secondary headaches

These headaches are caused when another disorder stimulates the pain-sensitive nerves of the head.

Factors that cause secondary headaches include:

  • Alcohol-induced
  • Brain Tumor
  • Blood clots
  • Bleeding in or around the brain
  • Brain freeze or ice-cream headaches
  • Carbon-monoxide poisoning
  • Concussion
  • Dehydration
  • Glaucoma
  • Teeth-grinding at night
  • Influenza
  • Panic-attacks
  • Stroke

When should you be concerned about a headache?

These are some symptoms and signs when you should be concerned about a headache. For example, headaches that first appear after the age of 50; headaches that cause painful red eye; etc.

Here are other reasons:

  • A major alteration in the form of your headaches.
  • A strangely severe headache.
  • Head pain that rises with even subtle coughing or movement.
  • Headaches that becomes progressively worse.
  • Variations in behavior or mental function.
  • Pain that are complemented by fever, confusion, rigid neck, reduced alertness, or any neurological symptoms like blurred vision, unclear speech, weakness, numbness or infections.
  • Headaches that give you pain and tenderness near the temples.
  • Headaches that inhibit regular activities.
  • Headaches that wake you up in nights.
  • Headaches in patients with cancer or weakened immune systems.

How long can a headache last?

Headaches can be more complicated than you realize. Different kinds of headaches have their own set of symptoms, causes, reasons for their occurring and require different treatments.

There are over 150 types of headaches. However the most common headaches are:

  • Tension headache
  • Migraine headache
  • Cluster headache
  • Chronic daily headache

Tension headaches

These types of headaches are very common and certainly most people will experience them. They appear as a dull, frequent pain that is felt on both the sides of the head.

Symptoms include:

  • Inflammation on the face, neck, head and shoulders
  • Feeling of pressure behind the eyes
  • Sensitivity to sound and light.

Tension headaches usually last 30 minutes to several hours. Causes of tension headaches are uncertain yet stress, anxiety and depression are some common symptoms.

Other possible triggers include:

  • Loud noise
  • Dehydration
  • Lake of physical activity
  • Poor sleep
  • Bad body posture
  • Skipped meals
  • Strain on eyes


Migraines come under the category of primary headache and are complimented with the visual disturbance. The person who is suffering from migraines will usually feel an extreme throbbing pain on the one side of the head.

The person may experience an intensified sensitivity to light, sound and smell. In migraine nausea and vomiting are also common.

Some people might also experience aura before the beginning of migraine. These are sensory and visual disturbances that usually last between five to 60 minutes.

Symptoms may include:

  • Seeing-zig-zag liners
  • Flickering light
  • Partial loss of vision
  • Numbness
  • Pins and needles
  • Muscle weakness
  • Difficulty in speaking

Cluster headaches

This headache may cause you painful burning feeling behind the eyes. Cluster headaches are severe and frequent headaches. Men are more prone to these kinds of headaches.  These headaches are random and last between 15 minutes to three hours. People can also experience up to eight attacks a day. It results in intense burning or sharp pain behind and around one eye.

Symptoms includes:

  • Watering eyes
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Blocked or runny nose
  • Sensitivity to light as well as sound
  • Agitation and restlessness

Chronic headaches

When your headache lasts for 15 days or more per month, they are called chronic daily headaches. Anyone can have chronic headaches. These headaches can be unbearable and can even restrict your daily activities.

The symptoms of chronic headache can differ depending on the type of pain you are feeling. These include:

  • Head pain which includes pain like pulsing, throbbing in one or both sides of your head
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Light and sound sensitivity
  • Stuffy and runny nose
  • Redness and tears in the eyes

Why do I have constant headaches?

Sometimes headaches can be caused by environmental or lifestyle factors like stress, weather changes, use of caffeine or sleep deprivation, just to name a few.

If you overuse pain medications like OTC or prescription pain medication, it can cause constant headache. This is also known as rebound headache or medication overuse headache.

The cause of constant headaches is still unknown but some of the possible causes may be:

  • The muscles of head and neck may tighten and can create tension and pain
  • The trigeminal nerve may be stimulated. It is the primary nerve on your face. If this nerve is activated, it can cause pain at the back of the eyes along with eye redness and stuffy nose and is associated with headache
  • If the level of estrogen or serotonin changes then there are high chances of headaches
  • Genes

How to treat a headache that won’t go away?

We went over a variety of different headache types to give you an idea of where you may be with your headache that won’t go away. What do you do now? The answer is: make changes in your life. There are varying reasons why you have a headache and some may be difficult to explain.

If you have a headache that won’t go away, the next thing we would recommend would be to try the LRA test.

What is the LRA test?

The LRA (lymphocyte response assay) delayed allergy tests or delayed hypersensitivity tests are known for their reliability, reproducibility & accuracy of 97%+. Delayed allergies can contribute to many chronic conditions including: migraines, autoimmune problems, lupus, fibromyalgia, asthma, diabetes, thyroiditis, and rheumatoid arthritis, just to name a few. Identifying common foods and chemicals that are stressing your immune system can be the first step on your path to wellness.

If you’re experiencing headaches and can’t pinpoint the reason, whether it’s dental or stress, or anything like that, you should look into your diet. Our bodies weren’t designed to eat the modern American diet, get older, and have everything function how it should.

Take back your life and take a deeper look into the foods and drinks you’re consuming on a daily basis.

For more information on headaches, click here. 


You are what you Eat, Drink, Think and Do! Health is more about choice than chance. Choose the Alkaline Way. The Alkaline Way is a personalized eating and lifestyle plan from world-renowned researcher Russell Jaffe MD, PhD, CCN.

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