Q:

What causes headaches on a specific side of the head?

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Quick Answer

Chronic migraines, which can be triggered by things such as hormonal changes, stress and certain foods, can result in head pain on one side of the head, explains Mayo Clinic. A hemicrania continua is another form of headache that produces pain on one side.

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Full Answer

Doctors classify a headache as a hemicrania continua when a patient experiences a moderately painful, continuous headache that occasionally produces short, piercing pains for over three months, explains the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Over the three-month period, the headache must not shift sides or be interspersed with pain-free periods to receive the hemicrania continua classification. Although most individuals who suffer from hemicrania continua experience pain on only the left or right side of the head, a small percentage of sufferers experience pain on both sides.

Rarely, headaches that occur on a specific side of the head can be caused by a serious underlying condition of the brain, such as a tumor, infection, aneurysm or stroke, states InteliHealth. For this reason, it is important to report one-sided head pain to a medical professional. Other red flags that may signal a serious brain condition may include a headache that worsens over time, head pain that occurs along with a fever, and headaches accompanied by vision loss, passing out or difficulty with basic tasks, such as talking and speaking.

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