Cluster Headaches With Detailed Information..

Cluster Headache

Cluster headaches are a neurological disease that involves a great deal of pain.

The duration of this headache ranges from as short as fifteen minutes, to three hours or more. An attack is rapid, and most often without the symptoms that a migraine has. But  they are often diagnosed as migraine headaches. The pain of clusters is much greater than in other headache conditions, including severe migraines, and experts believe that it may be the most severe pain known to medical science. 

The symptoms of a cluster-headache are:

  • Drooping eyelid
  • Redness of the covering of the eyeball.
  • Tearing, runny nose.
  •  Less commonly, facial blushing, swelling, or sweating.

These features are known as the autonomic symptoms.


  Cluster migraines/headaches are also associated with restlessness. Pacing the room or rocking back and forth isn't unusual.

Less frequently symptoms of clusters are:

  • You may have an aversion to bright lights, and loud noise during the attack.
  • The neck is often stiff or tender after a headache, with jaw or tooth pain sometimes present.
  • Some  report feeling as though their nose is stopped up, and that they're unable to breathe out of one of their nostrils.

Nausea rarely accompanies cluster headaches, unlike migraines. Cluster headaches are occasionally referred to as alarm clock headaches, because they wake a person from sleep, and because of the regularity of the attacks striking at a precise time of day. Morning or night is typical, even at the same time a week later.


Cluster headaches are episodic or chronic.

  • In episodic, attacks occur once or more daily, often at the same times each day, for a period of several weeks, followed by a headache free period lasting weeks, months, or even years.
  • Chronic clusters run continuously without any let up periods between cycles.

About ten to fifteen percent of headache sufferers have chronic cluster migraine/headaches. Clusters can change from chronic to episodic, and from episodic to chronic. No attacks could be had for decades, then they could start up again. 


Triggers that could cause cluster headache attacks are:

  • Nitroglycerin can sometimes bring on clusters in sufferers in a manner similar to spontaneous attacks.
  • Drinking alcohol, or eating chocolate is a common trigger.
  • Exposure to petroleum solvents, or perfume is also recognized as a trigger for cluster-headaches.
  • Some people have a decreased tolerance to heat, and becoming overheated may act as a trigger. Napping causes a headache for some sufferers, while for others lack of sleep triggers them.
  • Smoking can trigger cluster migraines, and are often found in people with a heavy addiction to cigarette smoking. 
  • Certain foods

Treatments for cluster-headaches

The medications to treat clusters are classified as either:

  • Abortive, or preventative medicine. 
  • Rapid breathing of pure oxygen for five to fifteen minutes,

Pain medications such as aspirin, and ibuprofen have no effect on the pain from  cluster headaches.  Abortive treatments only decrease the duration of the headache,  and keeps it from reaching its peak, rather than eliminating it entirely. Preventive treatment is always given for clusters, to be started at the first sign of a new cluster cycle.

Clusters often go undiagnosed for many years. They are confused with migraine or other types of headaches. Because of the extreme, and often debilitating pain associated with them, a severe attack is nevertheless treated as a medical emergency by doctors who are familiar with the condition.


I read an article was printed about a man that had clusters, and was suffering severe headaches. His DR gave him pure oxygen, and he said that the more he used it, the less often his head hurt, until it stopped. If you don't keep oxygen with you, ask about it.

Once an attack is at its peak, oxygen therapy appears to have little effect, so most people have an oxygen provider close by.

The top treatment for clusters is administration of triptan drugs. The injectable form of sumatriptan has been shown to abort a cluster headache within fifteen minutes in ninety six percent of cases. While these oral medicines are effective, they can be expensive.


Clusters like migraines, may respond to herbsmagnesium, and vitamins. After several months you may see a difference in the severity of the headaches.

 Thanks for reading

Our next page is about ocular migraines, and our last page was more info on  cluster migraines. Home page from cluster headache.

New! Comments

Click the like button, or leave me a comment in the box below on Help for Migraines for headache sufferers..All the best...

For our Migrane sufferers that may want to seek additional help other than information, there's many products to choose from on Amazon to relieve that headache. You'll be surprised as to how many products are designed for headache relief, from medicine to pillows and so forth. 

Look at the products below and read the reviews. They are all sold on Amazon for  

migraine relief

Even pillows for migraines help tremendously when the pain originates from the neck area. Herbs and Vitamins such as the ones mentioned above are helpful for some sufferers. Most are very inexpensive, and you may find something that will work for your type of headache. All can be found by searching Amazons many headache products. 

[?]Subscribe To This Site
  • XML RSS
  • follow us in feedly
  • Add to My Yahoo!
  • Add to My MSN
  • Subscribe with Bloglines
Flag Counter