Cluster Headache Diagnosis – What Do You Have Exactly?
Headaches are very common in our life. Stress, hormones and anxiety can trigger a headache without to much trouble. But not all headaches are that common or normal. One type of headache is very rare and very painful: cluster headache. Cluster headaches start suddenly and doesn’t give any previous warning or symptoms. The pain generated with a cluster headache attack will start, usually, behind one of your eyes, but rapidly the whole side of your face will become red and swollen.
A cluster headache can be very frightening because it can occur without any provocation. And it isn’t only frightening for the patient, but also for his family. You should remember that a cluster headache will last for a few minutes in most cases, but there are reports from people that suffer from a cluster headache attack for several hours (these are very severe cases). When you have cluster headaches you should expect a pattern in the attacks. Normally a cluster headache will occur at the same time of the day for several weeks (up to 6 or 8 weeks). After these weeks they will stop as instantly as they started, but in most cases they will return after a couple of months.
Up till now there isn’t any proof that cluster headaches are related to any other condition. There is belief that cluster headaches are hereditary but in some cases cluster headaches are related to poor lifestyle habits. Also heavy smoking, inconsistent sleeping patterns and strong medication can worsen the symptoms of cluster headaches.
In some cases your doctor can find it difficult to get a proper diagnosis for your condition as many of the symptoms might be similar to other diseases. But if you can give your doctor a very accurate description of the symptoms you’re experiencing, it will be easier for him to make a correct diagnosis. At the very least you should record the pattern in which your headaches occur. This is very important because cluster headaches will appear in a constant pattern everyday. Also letting your family members and relatives talk to your doctor about how you act during a cluster headache attack can be very helpful in distinguishing the type of headache you have.
Please, don’t hold anything back for your doctor because you’re embarrased about the way you behave when a cluster headache occur. If you hit your head against the wall or the furniture to relieve the pain, you should let your doctor now because these actions are quite common to cluster headache sufferers. Don’t hide this behaviour for your doctor, because it will help him in giving the correct medication through judging the severity of your headaches.
When you have cluster headaches, you will need to take two medicins. One of these medicins will reduce the number of headaches during your active cluster period, the other medicin will relieve the symptoms of the cluster headache. These medications will usually take a long time before they start working. That’s why your doctor will probably prescribe a medicine that can be inhaled or injected because they work faster. So as you can see, cluster headaches are very painful but with the right treatment you can find relief and if you have the right attitude, they can maybe even be prevented next time.