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QUESTION:
I have lived with chronic headache and migraine for years. I also have two additional medical issues, connective tissue disorder and dysautonomia, both of which can lead to Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension (IIH). Recently, I’ve been experiencing ‘hairband’ headache, a symptom related to hypertension. Could hairband headache also be symptomatic of IIH?
ANSWER:
The most common location for headaches caused by high spinal fluid pressure is behind the eyes and in the back of the head. They are often worse when you lie down or bend over, cough, bear down or sneeze. Those with connective tissue disorders can experience headache caused by high or low spinal fluid pressures.
 
Headache related to high blood pressure generally is felt throughout the head. Typically, these headaches don’t occur unless the systolic blood pressure (upper number) is above 160. Headache will either improve or go away when the blood pressure is reduced.
 
Vincent Martin, MD
President, National Headache Foundation
Professor of Clinical Medicine, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
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