What are cluster headaches?

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Cluster headaches are the most painful types of headache and occur in cyclical patterns or clusters. This headache usually happens in the middle of the night with an intense pain around an eye on one flank of the head.

Cluster headaches last from weeks to months and is followed by remission periods when attacks of headaches stops completely. During remission, there is a headache that will occur for months and sometimes even for years. This type of headache is rare yet is not dangerous.

A cluster headache occurs quickly without warning and there is an excruciating pain around one eye and spreads to the other parts of the face, shoulders and neck. Pain on one side, edginess and excessive tearing can also occur. A stuffy nasal passage in the nostrils on the side of the face that is affected can also develop along with redness in the side of the affected eye. Sweaty and pale skin and swelling around the eye on the face and a drooping eyelid can also occur.

The pain of cluster headache is usually sharp, penetrating and the individual feels that the head is burning. The feeling is like an eye is being pushed out of its socket. People with this condition are restless and they avoid lying down during the attack because this position increases the pain.

Cluster headache
The pain of cluster headache is usually sharp, penetrating and the individual feels that the head is burning.

People suffering from cluster headaches should avoid alcohol for the duration of the cluster period and they have rare level of melatonin and cortisol during the attacks of cluster headache.

Cluster headaches are not related to the consumption of foods and there is no link found between cluster headaches and mental stress or anxiety. With alcohol, it is a cause when the individual is in the middle of a cluster period. If you want to learn how to manage a headache, click here.

Treatment and home remedies

Some measures to help avoid a cluster headache attack during a cluster cycle involve sticking to a regular sleeping schedule. A cluster headache occurs when there are changes in the normal sleeping schedule. Avoid drinking alcohol, beer and wine since it can cause a headache during a cluster period.

Prevention of cluster headaches

  • Avoiding alcohol during the period when headaches happen since it can cause an attack. Refraining from alcohol during this period will help minimize the number of headaches.
  • The person should avoid inhaling nitroglycerine since this treatment will cause the blood vessels to dilate or enlarge, thus causing a cluster headache.
  • Avoid doing exercise in hot weather since it can cause a cluster headache. People suffering from this condition should avoid these activities under hot weather condition since it can cause the body temperature to rise very fast.
  • Avoid smoking to help minimize cluster headache from happening.
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