When headaches won't go away

What to do when you have a headache that won't go away – and how to tell if it's a migraine.

headache that won't go away

Published: September, 2012

When one of her bad migraines hits, Jacqueline G. (last name withheld) can't do anything but lie down in a dark room and wait for the waves of pain to recede. "It's completely debilitating," says the 73-yearold, who has been plagued by severe migraines since her 20s. "The nausea comes on right away, and then I can't keep anything down—even crackers or ice. And it can last from early morning to 12 at night."

Migraines are a particularly disabling form of headache because they launch a four-tiered attack:

To continue reading this article, you must log in.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »