What is a Cluster headache
The onset of cluster headaches is sudden, and they result in severe pain in the head. These headaches frequently affect one eye or the area surrounding it.
Cluster headaches are more likely to affect men over the age of 20 and those who are smokers.
If you have cluster headaches, don't wait - talk to a doctor immediately.
Our doctors can assess your symptoms, diagnose whether cluster headaches cause them, and, if necessary, prescribe medications to help you.
What causes Cluster headaches?
The exact cause of cluster headaches is unknown; however, research suggests that they are linked to the trigeminal nerve, which is responsible for the intense eye pain associated with this condition.
Cluster headaches can be just as intense and debilitating as migraines, and during an attack, those who suffer from them may find it difficult to remain still or in one position. Thankfully, these headaches are usually shorter in duration than migraines.
Mainly affecting men aged 20 and above, cluster headaches are not common but can recur in cycles, with some individuals reporting attacks of headaches followed by months or even years of relief before their return.
Symptoms of Cluster headaches
There are noticeable differences between migraines and cluster headaches regarding their symptoms.
Sudden, intense pain affecting a single side of the face is often the first sign of a migraine attack. The pain may start around the eye and then spread to the side of the head, face, and gums. The pain usually reaches its peak within minutes.
Symptoms that may also be present include:
- A runny or blocked nostril
- Sweating, particularly in the face
- A dilated pupil in one eye
- Redness in the ear
- A bloodshot or watering eye
Cluster headache episodes may last 15 minutes to an hour but are usually shorter than migraines.
The headaches usually come in cycles, occurring at a similar time each day. Generally, they last for a few weeks or months, after which the person is free of pain for a period ranging from weeks to years. Eventually, however, the headaches will return.
Treating and managing Cluster headaches
If you are experiencing any symptoms indicative of cluster headaches, it is crucial to speak to a doctor immediately. This is because the same symptoms can also indicate more severe conditions, some of which may require a brain scan to diagnose. Therefore, it is essential to seek medical help quickly.
Over-the-counter medications may not adequately relieve cluster headaches, which can be extremely painful. It is essential to consult with a healthcare professional to discuss treatment options best suited to your needs.
There is no cure for cluster headaches, so treatments involve medications and techniques often used to treat migraines. These may include sumatriptan injections, nasal sprays, and oxygen therapy, wherein one breathes in pure oxygen through a specialized mask.
Various treatments, including medications, a local anaesthetic, and direct nerve stimulation, may be employed to prevent cluster headaches.
Different methods can have varying levels of success, and it's often necessary to experiment to find the one that works best for an individual.
Speak to a doctor about Cluster headaches
If you believe you are having a cluster headache attack, don't wait - seek Mobi Doctor's assistance immediately. Our physicians can evaluate your symptoms and diagnose whether it is a cluster headache. If necessary, you may be referred to a specialist for further testing and treatment.