Cluster Headaches – What Are They And Can You Avoid Them?
Have you ever had a sudden and excrutiating pain behind your eye? Did you have this pain occur at the same time within days for several weeks? Then it’s most likely that you are suffering from cluster headaches. By definition a cluster headache is one of the most painful headaches around, and it is often being referred to as ‘suicide headache’.
When you have this condition, you can at least be sure that this type of headache isn’t arising from another, more serious illness, but just to be safe, if you are suffering sudden and sharp headaches at a regular basis you should contact your doctor so you can be fully examined.
This type of headache is called ‘cluster headaches’ because they occur frequently and at the same time intervals within a specific period. For example, it is possible that a person experiences a terrible headache every morning at 7 a.m. for 6 weeks. After those 6 weeks are passed he won’t feel the headache anymore, until the next period, when the headaches will start again. Most of the times the periods of the cluster headaches are season-related. The biggest part of the people suffering from cluster headaches, will have an active period during the summer of winter.
In most cases, the area affected by the headache pain will remain the same. In very rare cases it will transfer to the other side of the head during an attack. Even during different clusters the pain will remain on the same side.
Another unique feature of cluster headaches is its timing and duration. A cluster headache attack can last between 15 to 90 minutes. And they will, in most cases occur at certain times during the day. The most reported hours are 1 to 2 am of 1 to 3 pm.
Another specific feature of cluster headaches is that it occurs suddenly and will end the same way. The pain is unbearable, and many patients will bang their heads during an attack. And there are reported cases of people trying to commit suicide to put an end to the pain.
Symptoms of cluster headaches
I already gave you the most important cluster headaches symptoms, but there are more. If you have the above mentioned symptoms you can almost be sure you are suffering from cluster headaches, but with the following symptoms your headache can easily be diagnosed as a ‘cluster headache’.
Everytime you have a cluster headache, you will experience a swelling in the eye area, drooping of the eyelids and stuffy nostrils. You willl also exhibit flushed face and your eye pupils will be reduced in size.
When people have a migraine or any other type of headache, they will seek out some place to rest. People who suffer from cluster headaches would not do this. They are restless and will find it difficult to fall asleep.
If you find yourself in the situation that you recognize these symptoms, you should seek medical consultation to be sure that you have cluster headaches. Your doctor can prescribe pain relief medication or help you find techniques about how you can get through the cluster headache attacks.
Until now there hasn’t been a cause identified behind cluster headaches, so you can’t really prevent them from occuring. It is believed that such headaches are hereditary or runs in the family.
Cluster Headache Treatment
For now, cluster headaches are treatable but they aren’t curable yet. There are cases reported on patients that suddenly stop having attacks, in other cases the attacks get more intense and more often.
If you want to treat cluster headaches, you shouldn’t take more than the normal dosage of pain relievers. The best pain relief is found in injections, because they are faster absorbed in your blood stream.
Beside the general medication, you can find pain relief in non-conventional treatments. These accidental treatments have proven to prevent cluster headaches in a number of cases.
If you should suffer from cluster headaches, you shouldn’t worry. They are painful and I know you don’t want them, but remember, they aren’t life-threatening. Try to maintain a lifestyle as healthy as possible, stay away from alcohol and nicotine and you should be able to avoid the attacks in most cases.