I'm so sorry to hear that you've had to suffer with headaches for almost 50 years. When they're as chronic as you're describing those, they may not even be just headaches anymore, but more like migraines.
Although much about the cause of migraines isn't understood, genetics and environmental factors seem to both play a role.
Migraines may be caused by changes in the brainstem and its interactions with the trigeminal nerve, a major pain pathway. Imbalances in brain chemicals, including serotonin — which helps regulate pain in your nervous system — also may be involved.
Serotonin levels drop during migraine attacks. This may trigger your trigeminal system to release substances called neuropeptides, which travel to your brain's outer covering (meninges). The result is headache pain.
Migraine headache triggersWhatever the exact mechanism of the headaches, a number of things may trigger them. Common migraine triggers include:
A variety of drugs have been specifically designed to treat migraines. In addition, some drugs commonly used to treat other conditions also may help relieve or prevent migraines. Medications used to combat migraines fall into two broad categories:
Choosing a strategy to manage your migraines depends on the frequency and severity of your headaches, the degree of disability your headaches cause, and your other medical conditions.
Some medications aren't recommended if you're pregnant or breast-feeding. Some aren't used for children. Your doctor can help find the right medication for you.
Pain-relieving medicationsFor best results, take pain-relieving drugs as soon as you experience signs or symptoms of a migraine. It may help if you rest or sleep in a dark room after taking them:
Preventive medicationsYou may be a candidate for preventive therapy if you have two or more debilitating attacks a month, if pain-relieving medications aren't helping, or if your migraine signs and symptoms include a prolonged aura or numbness and weakness.
Preventive medications can reduce the frequency, severity and length of migraines and may increase the effectiveness of symptom-relieving medicines used during migraine attacks. Your doctor may recommend that you take preventive medications daily, or only when a predictable trigger, such as menstruation, is approaching.
In most cases, preventive medications don't eliminate headaches completely, and some cause serious side effects. If you have had good results from preventive medicine and have been migraine-free for six months to a year, your doctor may recommend tapering off the medication to see if your migraines return without it.
For best results, take these medications as your doctor recommends:
I know this information is long, but it is from the Mayo Clinic and hopefully you will find some of it helpful.