Cluster Headaches

This neurological problem creates patterns of intense headaches called “clusters”. Most of the patients have experienced these headaches regularly over a period of weeks or months, sometimes the headaches may stop for months or years, and then return. Although doctors don’t know what causes cluster headaches. Smoking, alcohol use, specific foods, bright light and stress have all been named as possible triggers. However, when it comes to cluster headaches, triggers do not seem to play a large role. Symptoms for cluster headaches are often sharp, burning pain that often starts when you are sleeping. 

The pain is felt around one eye, although the pain may radiate to other areas of your head. The attacks may last from 15 minutes to three hours. During a cluster period – when attacks are frequent – headaches may happen every day at regular times for weeks or months until the cluster period has finished. Although cluster headaches cannot be cured, treatment may relieve your symptoms and reduce the frequency of attacks. Breathing oxygen through a mask provides quick relief for many people. Medications such as corticosteroids, synthetic hormones, and pain relievers can be helpful. They may be given through IVs, nasal sprays, inhalers or injections.