What is a Cluster Headache?
A Cluster headache is a rare form of headaches that start suddenly behind or around one of the eyes and is very severe in nature. Cluster headaches normally affect men and can cause the area on the same side of the face where the pain is present to become red, and swollen. Cluster headaches can span in duration from a few minutes to several hours. They can cause their suffers to become restless.
One reason for there name as cluster headaches is that they seem to appear at the same time of day for a period or cluster of days and then stop. Researches have found that they more commonly occur between 1 and 2 am and 1 and 3 pm. The cluster duration can last up until 8 weeks.
What causes Cluster Headaches?
Cluster headaches can be caused by medications that individuals have been prescribed such as nitroglycerin. Heavy smoking, interruption of normal sleep pattern and improper functioning of your hypothalamus have all been associated as causes of cluster headaches. Researchers have not found a link between cluster headaches and other illnesses or diseases of the brain. There also does not appear to be a link hereditarily with the occurrence of cluster headaches.
How to know if one is suffering from Cluster Headaches?
You description of the type of headache you describe will be essential in your doctor determining if you suffer from cluster headaches. The timing and pattern of your headaches will be very important in diagnosis. If possible keep a journal or log of when the attacks occur, how frequent they are, and how long they last. Family members and friends may have helpful insights to share with your doctor on how the headaches affect you physically when they occur.
How are Cluster Headaches treated?
There is a common line of treatment for this form of headache. Your doctor will likely prescribe two medications to help with the pain. One will be given to you to take regularly during the cluster time period to affect the overall frequency of headaches. This medication must be in your body in high doses before the headaches start to work properly. The second medication will be taken when the cluster headache starts.
How to Cope with Cluster Headaches?
Once the right medications have been outlined and taken many people are able to successfully cope with there cluster headaches. It is crucial for a sufferer to work closely with their doctor to find the best treatment options for their individual case.
Source: Cluster headaches