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IVY MD, Doctor
Category: Medical
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Experience:  USA trained physician in Internal Medicine, Critical Care, Anesthesiology, and Interventional Pain
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I have pressure around my head; feels like I have a hat on

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I have pressure around my head; feels like I have a hat on all the time.

What is this?
Does this pain come and go or is it constant?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
This isn't painful. Only 'pressure'.
This is very consistent with a type of headache called a tension headache. It lasts long like this and 'feels like a tight band around the head.' Any activity that causes the head to be held in one position for a long time without moving can cause a headache. Also it can be caused by:
Alcohol use
Caffeine (too much or withdrawal)
Colds and the flu
Eye strain
Excessive smoking
Nasal congestion
Sinus infection
The headache pain may be described as:

Dull, pressure-like
A tight band or vise on the head
All over (not just in one point or one side)
Worse in the scalp, temples, or back of the neck
The pain may occur as an insolated event, constantly, or daily
Over-the-counter painkillers such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen may relieve pain if relaxation techniques do not work. If you are planning to take part in an activity that you know will trigger a headache, taking one of these painkillers beforehand may be helpful.

An antidepressant or other medication may be advised for chronic tension headache. A nonsedating muscle relaxant like metaxalone (Skelaxin) helps some patients. In severe cases, the combination of butalbital and acetaminophen (Fioricet) or butalbital and aspirin (Fiorinal) may be helpful.

Tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline, nortriptyline, doxepin taken every day may help decrease the number or prevent the headaches.
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