A cluster headache is one-sided head pain that may involve tearing of the eyes and a stuffy nose. Attacks occur regularly for 1 week to 1 year, separated by long pain-free periods that last at least 1 month, possibly longer.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Cluster headaches are a fairly common form of chronic, repeated headaches. They are four times more common in men than women. The headaches can occur at any age but are most common in adolescence and middle age. They tend to run in families, passed down through genes.
Scientists do not know exactly what causes cluster headaches, but they appear to be related to the body’s sudden release of histamine or serotonin A problem in a small area at the base of the brain called the hypothalamus may be involved. The following may trigger cluster attacks:
- Alcohol and cigarette smoking
- High altitudes (trekking, air travel)
- Bright light (including sunlight)
- Heat (hot weather, hot baths)
- Foods high in nitrites (such as bacon and preserved meats)
- Certain medications
A cluster headache begins as a severe, sudden headache. The headache most commonly strikes 2 to 3 hours after you fall asleep. However, the headache may occur while you are awake. The headache tends to occur at the same time of day. The pain occurs on one side of the head. It may be described as:
The pain may occur in, behind, and around one eye. It may:
- Involve one side of the face from neck to temples
- Quickly get worse, peaking within 5 to 10 minutes
The strongest pain may last 30 minutes to 2 hours.
The eye and nose on the same side as the head pain may also be affected. Symptoms can include:
- Swelling under or around the eye (may affect both eyes)
- Excessive tearing
- Red eye
- Rhinorrhea (runny nose) or one-sided stuffy nose (same side as the head pain)
- Red, flushed face
Cluster headaches may occur daily for months, alternating with periods without headaches (episodic), or they can recur for a year or more without stopping (chronic).
Sinol can relieve headaches when they first begin and is extremely effective for headaches of all types. Sinol works faster than a pill or a liquid and can relieve headaches in minutes.
Reference: U.S. National Library of Medicine