Cluster headaches andthe main characteristics
Every headache is painful and uncomfortable, but when itcomes to the cluster headache, the fact is that it is one of the most painful types,since the pain felt is immense and may last for weeks or even months. Another termthat is also frequently used for cluster headache is suicide headache, whichonly confirms the previous statement.
As for the causes of this type of a headache, unfortunately,they are not so clear, but it has been determined that certain abnormalities inthe part of the brain called hypothalamus have something to do with them. Theseabnormalities may also explain the cyclical nature of these headaches, sincethe attacks usually occur regularly during the day, and the cycle of clusterperiods is in accordance to the seasons of the year. It is also believed thatincreased level of hormones such as melatonin and cortisol has something to dowith the occurrence of these headaches, as well as changes in the level ofserotonin. Some medications may also trigger them as well asalcohol, which is why people who suffer from this condition are very carefulabout their use.
The main symptom is pain that is excruciating, it is usuallylocated around the eye and it is one-sided. Swelling around that eye may alsooccur, the size of the pupil may reduce, while eyelid may droop. Symptoms suchas nausea and increased light and sound sensitivity are also possible, thoughthey are more typical of migraines. Regarding the cluster period, it repeatsseasonally, usually in spring or fall, while in the period between theclusters, no pain or any other symptoms are present.
The treatment ofcluster headache
Unfortunately, there is no cure for this condition, but thereare several treatment options available, and they have the purpose to reducethe pain and shorten the lasting period. It is important to say that painrelievers such as Aspirin and ibuprofen should not be used for clusterheadaches, since the pain comes and goes suddenly. Inhaling oxygen through amask may help in some cases, while in others triptans, dihydroergotamine andlocal anesthetics have proven to be helpful. Surgery is very rarely option, and usually only in cases inwhich medications aren’t tolerated well. However, it carries a risk of damagingthe eye nerve. Some people react well to the injection of glycerol administered in face, since itprovides relief right away.
Numerous researches have been conducted with the purpose offinding the best and the most effective solution to this problem, but so far, peopleare generally suggested with short-term medications or long-term medications,since it is believed that in this way the cluster headaches can be prevented.