What Are Hemicranial Headaches?

Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

Could I Suffer from Hemicranial Headaches?

Headaches can happen to everyone from time to time. When pain becomes severe and patterns start to emerge, it creates more reason for concern. If your headaches only occur on one side of the head and interfere with daily life, it might be the right time to look a little deeper for a cause.

Types and Symptoms of Hemicranial Headaches

Hemicranial Continua

This disorder is characterized by persistent pain on one side of the head or face that lasts for more than three months. While the severity of the pain can vary, that level of continuous pain is often punctuated by short episodes of more severe, throbbing pain.

The sufferer may also have:

  • Redness of the eyes
  • Tearing
  • Runny nose or nasal congestion
  • A drooping eyelid

Rarely this condition can mimic migraine symptoms such as sensitivity to light and sound as well as cause sweating and nausea.

Paroxysmal Hemicrania

Patients suffering from Paroxysmal Hemicrania have intense pain on one side of the head or face, usually centralized behind the eye. This condition is episodic, with the patient enduring attacks up to 40 times a day. The duration of the episodes can range from just a few minutes to a half-hour. 


Additional symptoms are: 

  • Radiating pain, often to the back of the neck
    • Pain described as boring or claw-like
  • Red eyes and tearing
  • Drooping or swollen eyelids
  • Periods of remission from pain

How Does Dr. Alain de Lotbinière Diagnose Hemicranial Headaches?

Dr. Alain de Lotbinière will review your medical history and any previous treatments as well as conduct physical and diagnostic exams. He is an expert in the diagnosis and treatment of complex pain disorders and can provide the answers you need to find relief.

Alain de Lotbiniere NY Surgeon

What Are My Treatment Options?

Individual treatments will depend on the cause of your hemicranial headaches. Dr. de Lotbinière will guide you to the best management therapies and treatments for your specific symptoms.

Common Treatments for Hemicrania Continua Include

Anti-Inflammatory Medication (Often Indomethacin)

Episodic Prevention with Antidepressants

Common Treatments for Paroxysmal Hemicrania Include

Anti-Inflammatory Medications


Calcium-Channel Blocking Medications

In some cases a microvascular decompression may be required to bring the pain under control.

What Are My Next Steps?

If your headaches are lowering your quality of life, contact our office today. Dr. de Lotbinière is an expert in the diagnosis and treatment of complex pain disorders, including Hemicranial Headaches. He is accepting appointments at both his White Plains, New York and Stamford, Connecticut offices now.