Why Have I Had a Headache for 3 Days?

Why Have I Had a Headache for 3 Days

A severe headache can be life-changing and require medical care. Symptoms of a severe headache can range from minor to severe, depending on its severity. A doctor can diagnose a variety of conditions, but headaches can be debilitating or even dangerous. Listed below are some conditions that can cause a headache and how to determine if you should see a doctor for treatment. If you have experienced a headache for more than 3 days, or if it is worse than before, you should seek medical care.


A headache that lasts three days can be an indication of meningitis, a rare but dangerous infection of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord. The condition can cause the brain to swell and can result in death or permanent disability. It’s best to get a proper diagnosis as soon as possible. If your headache persists for more than three days, visit a doctor or go to the emergency room. You can also call the number triple zero (000).


If you’re experiencing a chronic, persistent, or episodic headache, it’s probably the result of high stress. This condition doesn’t usually respond to physical activity, light, or sound, but if your symptoms last more than three days, it may be time to see a doctor. In many cases, people with stress headaches will tense up their shoulders and neck, which can lead to “vice-like” compression of the nerves.

Sleep apnea

If you’ve had a severe headache for three days in a row, you’re probably suffering from sleep apnea. This condition causes the air in the lungs to become de-oxygenated and full of carbon dioxide. This buildup of carbon dioxide in the bloodstream can lead to inflammation and a painful headache. According to a 2020 study, reduced sleep time is associated with a lower pain tolerance. Interestingly, this may be related to a decline in activity levels in the hypothalamus, which controls pain.

Stress can trigger headaches

Headaches are caused by a variety of factors, including the stress we face every day. Even everyday irritants can trigger them, causing our bodies to react with involuntary responses such as tensing our muscles, grinding our teeth, or stiffening our shoulders. While these involuntary responses can only exacerbate the problem, there are ways to alleviate their symptoms. Learning relaxation techniques and engaging in pleasurable activities can help you combat the effects of stress on your body.


If you’ve been suffering from headaches for three days and have not found a cause, you may want to consider MRI for headaches. This type of test creates detailed images of the brain without the use of X-rays. MRI uses radio waves and a powerful magnet to create these pictures. They can reveal a lot about the structure of the brain and its chemicals. MRIs can also be very useful for diagnosing a variety of conditions, including headaches.

CT scans

Although doctors rarely use CT scans for headaches, they may order them to rule out a serious underlying problem. These scans produce cross-sectional images of the body. Before your doctor orders a CT scan, learn more about the different types of headaches, how they are performed, and the risks associated with these tests. These scans are becoming more common, and you can help prevent them by making sure you know the signs and symptoms of your headache.

Surgical treatment

Surgical treatment for headaches is often the best way to solve the problem. Patients suffering from chronic headaches will undergo a neurologic exam, lab work, and radiographic imaging before a surgeon decides on the best approach. These tests will determine whether there is an organic cause for the headache. The surgeon may also perform nerve block injections to identify trigger sites. Patients will need to keep a headache diary for at least four weeks.

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