Headache incidence varies depending on the age of the patient with chronic subdural hematoma.
A report in the Postgraduate Medical Journal states that the incidence of headache, as a symptom of chronic subdural hematoma, varies among different studies. The variance range is 14 percent to 80 percent.
The report points out that headache is less common a symptom in the elderly with chronic subdural hematoma than in younger patients. There’s a few reasons for this.
As the brain ages, it shrinks.
This is called age related brain atrophy. A shrunken brain means more intracranial space or room for the leaking blood to take up before pressure builds up on the brain (causing headache).
In a young person, there isn’t as much room for the leaking blood to fill, making headaches more likely as a first symptom.
This doesn’t mean elderly patients can’t get headaches from a chronic subdural hematoma.
In fact, my elderly mother’s first symptom complaint was of a horrible headache—later that day she was diagnosed with chronic subdural hematoma (from a fall six weeks prior in which she hit her head).
The Postgraduate Medical Journal then notes that the second reason is that in the elderly, there’s an “earlier onset of confusion,” and this “attracts medical attention before the development of headache” in elderly patients.