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What are hemicranias continua?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Hemicrania continua are a rare form of chronic headache marked by continuous pain on one side of the face that varies in severity. The symptoms of hemicrania continua fall into two main categories, autonomic and migraine-like. The autonomic symptoms include runny nose, tearing, eye redness, eye discomfort, sweating, and swollen and drooping eyelids, and the migraine-like symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. The disorder has two forms, continuous, with daily headaches and remitting, where headaches may occur for as long as 6 months and are followed by a pain-free period of weeks to months until they recur. Most patients experience attacks of increased pain three to five times per 24-hour cycle. This disorder is more common in women than in men. Physical exertion and alcohol use may increase the severity of headache pain in some patients. The cause of this disorder is unknown.

This answer is based on source information from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.