Cluster headaches, which occur in cyclical patterns or cluster periods, are one of the most painful types of headache. A cluster headache commonly awakens people in the middle of the night with intense pain in or around one eye on one side of the head.
Bouts of frequent attacks, known as cluster periods, can last from weeks to months, usually followed by remission periods when the headaches stop. During remission, no headaches occur for months and sometimes even years.
Fortunately, cluster headache is rare and not life-threatening. Treatments can make cluster headache attacks shorter and less severe. In addition, medications can reduce the number of cluster headaches one have.
CHARACTERISTIC OF CLUSTER HEADACHE
A cluster period generally lasts for several weeks to months. The starting date and the duration of each cluster period might be consistent from period to period. For example, cluster periods can occur seasonally, such as every spring or every fall.
Most people have episodic cluster headaches. In episodic cluster headaches, the headaches occur for one week to a year, followed by a pain-free remission period that can last as long as 12 months before another cluster headache develops.
Chronic cluster periods might continue for more than a year, or pain-free periods might last less than one month.
During a cluster period:
- Headaches usually occur every day, sometimes several times a day
- A single attack can last from 15 minutes to three hours
- The attacks often occur at the same time each day
- Most attacks occur at night, usually one to two hours after you go to bed
The pain usually ends as suddenly as it began, with rapidly decreasing intensity. After attacks, most people are pain-free but exhausted.
SYMPTOMS OF CLUSTER HEADACHE
- Excruciating pain that is generally situated in, behind or around one eye, but may radiate to other areas of the face, head and neck
- One-sided pain
- Excessive tearing
- Redness of eye on the affected side
- Stuffy or runny nose on the affected side
- Forehead or facial sweating on the affected side
- Pale skin (pallor) or flushing on face
- Swelling around the eye on the affected side
- Drooping eyelid on the affected side
People with cluster headache, unlike those with migraine, are likely to pace or sit and rock back and forth. Some migraine-like symptoms — including sensitivity to light and sound — can occur with a cluster headache, though usually on one side.
CAUSES OF CLUSTER HEADACHE
The exact cause of cluster headaches is unknown, but cluster headache patterns suggest that abnormalities in the body's biological clock (hypothalamus) play a role.
Unlike migraine and tension headache, cluster headache generally isn't associated with triggers, such as foods, hormonal changes or stress.
Once a cluster period begins, however, drinking alcohol may quickly trigger a splitting headache. For this reason, many people with cluster headache avoid alcohol during a cluster period.
Very useful for cluster Headache when there is severe pain around the eye at a particular hour. There is periodicity in occurrence of periorbital pain which may radiate into the ear. In other persons, the pain around the eye may radiate to the temples or back of head. Also useful for watering from eyes with burning with eye pain. There pain may appear on any side but more useful when the pain over the left side of eye is felt more often.
Useful for cluster Headache with redness or swelling of eyes and flushing of face. There is deep pain in the eyes, mostly throbbing or shooting in nature, with congestion and redness of eyes. The eyes also show protrusion. Photophobia i.e.There is intolerance to light or worsening of pain from light may also be noted. very useful when lying down worsens the pain and tight bandage or pressure seems to provide relief. There is sudden onset of a violent headache The attacks appear suddenly and with intensity and leave with the same suddenness.
useful for left-side Cluster Headache. There is a severe violent pain around the eye and in the eye socket specifically on the left side. The eyeballs too appear large. There is digging, boring, shooting, violent, throbbing or stitching pain, with a feeling of needles pricking in the eye on the left side. There is pain in eye on moving or turning the eye.There is pain with redness of eyes with sensitivity to light and dropping of eyes also show their presence.
Useful for right-side Cluster Headache.Useful for pain settles over or around the right eye.There is bursting sensation with a feeling as if the eyes will be pressed out.There is periodicity of pain is noted mostly with beginning of pain in morning and continuing till evening.