Cluster headache is a series of bouts of headache that may strike several times a day for weeks or months, followed by a pain-free period. Another bout may return weeks or months later, or, for some patients, attacks continue in a chronic fashion without a break.
Also known as histamine headache, cluster headache occurs at any age, particularly in adolescence and middle age, and tends to run in families. Cluster headache is so excruciating, it is sometimes referred to as suicide headache. This type of neurovascular headache is less common than migraine, affecting an estimated 0.1-0.3% of the population, with men affected more than woman by a factor of 6:1.
An attack begins quickly, often a couple of hours after falling asleep. The pain strikes one side of the head and reaches a peak within 2 to 15 minutes. The pain burns or stabs, spreading out from the temple and eye. The sufferer may pace, rock back and forth, bang the head, and cry out. The eye may become red, watery, or puffy; the eyelid may droop; and the nostril may become runny or stuffy.
A variety of triggers have been associated with cluster headache attacks:
1. Schoenen, J. Jensen, RH. Lantéri-Minet, MJA. Láinez, M. Gaul, C. Goodman, AM. Caparso, A. May, A. Stimulation of the sphenopalatine ganglion (SPG) for cluster headache treatment. Pathway CH-1: A randomized, sham-controlled study. Cephalalgia. Jan. 11, 2013. http://cep.sagepub.com/content/early/2013/01/11/0333102412473667.full. Accessed Feb. 6, 2013.
|Last Updated on Wednesday, November 27, 2013 05:38 PM|