Question: I used to have daily headaches with about 1 out of 5 them making me bedridden with unrelenting pain and nausea. I was taking so much over the counter medications that the neurologist believed I was having rebound headaches and I went cold turkey. After a couple of years, most of the daily headaches stopped and the severe headaches ceased. That was 6 years ago. Recently I came down with a headache so bad, accompanied by extreme nausea, lasting almost 3 days. My question, is it common for a migraine to return after 6 years? I’m guessing this is migraine, but I don’t have the classic symptoms of visual aura or strange olfactory sensations.

Answer: It is interesting to read about your rebound headaches which probably originated from migraine disease. It’s not unusual for long lapses to occur between migraine attacks, especially as one gets older. Migraine attacks do not necessarily have to be associated with classical symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, or visual/olfactory sensations. If your migraine attacks become more frequent, you should consult with your neurologist and discuss the many preventatives as well as abortive medicines now available.

Dr. Seymour Diamond
Executive Chair and Founder
National Headache Foundation