Cluster Headaches

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Cluster Headaches

Cluster headaches belong to the headache conditions known as trigeminal autonomic cephalagias or TACs.  Cluster headaches are more common in men than women and symptoms may include frequent, painful headaches on one side of the head near the eye. The symptoms that come with this type of headache may include watery eyes, nose blockage, and swollen eyes. If left untreated episodes can last for as long as 15-180 minutes (although the average about 1 hour) other symptoms include: a burning sensation, a stabbing sharp pain, and feeling as if the eyes are about to pop out.

A distinct characteristic of this headache is that attacks occur at specific times in waves (or ‘clusters’), such as during a specific month annually and may last for days or up to weeks. Following the episode there may be no headaches until the same month the following year.

While there is no known cure, cluster headaches can sometimes be prevented and treated.

Pain relief by Medication

As Cluster Headaches at times last only 30 minutes medication may not be necessary for treatment, but if available, need to be fast acting

•      Oxygen inhalation (pure oxygen can help alleviate headaches)

•      Sumatriptan Medication

Medication to prevent and reduce the effects of Cluster Headaches includes:

•      Prevention of headaches by Ergotamine medication

•      Calcium channel blockers especially  Verapamil

•      Lithium

•      Corticosteroids (only for a short-period of time)

•      Anticonvulsants especially Divalproex