The Best Way To Prevent Persistent Headaches Before They Begin

Headaches are a strange affliction and just about anyone who has experienced more than one can attest to that. Even run-of-the-mill headaches seem to have a mind of their own. Each one seems to require its own special blend of treatments before going away, despite all of the available over-the-counter pain meds.

And that's to say nothing of persistent headaches. The Mayo Clinic defines persistent or chronic headaches as any that occur daily for 15 days or more a month. They're considered a condition of their own, instead of a symptom when there is no other underlying condition causing the headaches.

One specific form of persistent headaches is known as the new daily persistent headache (NDPH). It is defined in a 2012 report, published in the Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology, as a headache that begins acutely and reaches its peak within three days and occurs in someone with no history of chronic headaches. The report goes on to say that in most cases these headaches resist treatment and that, generally, the pain and its traits should be treated like a group of symptoms, rather than a single diagnosis.

In fact, these kinds of persistent headaches can have many of the same symptoms as migraines and can be treated with the same methods. But as the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. So how do you prevent persistent headaches?

Prevention is treatment

The old saying may be that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, but it's not quite right when it comes to persistent headaches. Because as the Mayo Clinic says, treatment for persistent headaches focuses on prevention since there is no underlying cause to blame. In other words, prevention is the best course of action. However, each method of prevention will vary from one person to another.

The experts at Healthline suggest regularly drinking water to stay hydrated and avoid environmental triggers. Keep in mind, bright or flickering lights count as environmental triggers, as do certain temperature or barometric pressure changes, explains the National Headache Foundation.

Barometric pressure can be changed through weather patterns, traveling, living at high elevations, or taking part in activities, like flying or deep-sea diving. Of course, someone may be used to the pressure range in their home area, but any change in environmental factors can trigger a headache.

Other methods of preventing headaches include reducing stress, seeking mental health support, and asking your doctor about hormones (per Healthline). And while these may be a little harder to pull off, they may be key in preventing persistent headaches.