Cluster Headache

An Overview of Cluster Migraines

Migraine is a kind of headache that is very prolonged in its course and very disturbing. There are many types of migraines of which “cluster migraines” is the one which is very debilitating. In cluster migraines as the name suggests a number of headaches occur in your head at the same time. The sensation is said to be similar to a red hot poker inserted into your eye. The pain associated with this kind of headache has a piercing quality to it. . Due to its excruciating pain and depressive nature this pain is also called “suicide pains” since the person suffering from cluster headaches tend to have suicidal feelings.

Signs and symptoms:
A cluster headaches sufferer experiences a very severe pain in the temple or near one eye which lasts from 15 minutes to 3 hours and in rare cases it lasts up to days. Though the pain is usually unilateral, it may occasionally change its position. The medical journals report that cluster headaches could possibly be the worst and severe pain one could suffer from. The pain is akin to stabbing in your eyes and you feel very depressed when you experience an attack.

The other signs of cluster migraines are drooping of eyelids, red and watery eyes, runny nose, constricted pupil, stiff neck or sweating. Sometimes the feeling of vomiting and sensitivity to light also occurs in case of cluster headaches.

If you suffer from cluster migraines you should not try over the counter medicines like aspirin, ibuprofen or others since they have no effect on cluster headaches. Some people have reported that they got partial relief from this kind of migraine when they took narcotic pain killers like Percocet, Anecdotal and others. But you should not use such medication without the advice of a doctor due to their narcotic effects.

Basically there are two types of treatment  for cluster migraines- abortive treatment and prophylactic treatment.  In abortive treatment the doctors give you  pure oxygen to various triptan drugs for releasing the patient from the debilitating pain. Sometimes a strong cup of coffee at the onset of the pain is helpful in reducing the pain.

In prophylactic treatment various medicines used have mixed responses and vary from person to person. Calcium channel blocker like verapamil, steroids like prednisolone, muscle relaxants and other medicines are used in this type of treatment.