Chronic headache is a common and distressing disorder that can destroy quality of life. Symptoms include pain, nausea and vomiting, sensitivity to light, sound, smell or touch; affected vision, numbess to the face, hands or feet. Migraine is the most common form of chronic headache, affecting about two million Australians. It can occur just a few times a year, or several times a week. Other forms of chronic headache include cluster headache, nerve headache and head injury headache.
There is no cure for chronic headache but treatments can help reduce the number of episodes. Treatment usually focuses on reducing triggers for headache, which may involve changing diet and sleep habits, reducing stress and using medication or vitamin supplements. Other therapies such as acupuncture, hypnotherapy or yoga can also help, as part of a multidisciplinary pain management approach.