A cluster headache is an uncommon variant that can trigger abrupt, severe pain on one side of the head, usually behind or around an eye. An episode might arise at the same time every day for weeks and do not occur for a few months.
In some cases, it can arise at night after the individual has fallen asleep. Take note that the days or weeks when the headaches occur is known as the “cluster period”.
The precise cause is still unknown and likely to affect men more often than women. Generally, a cluster headache can be triggered by the following:
- Tobacco products
- Lack of sleep
- Glaring or bright lights
Noting down the potential triggers might reveal a pattern on when the headaches occur.
What are the characteristics?
Intense pain can be felt on one side of the head. The discomfort is usually intense around 5-10 minutes once it has started.
The other signs that might be present with a cluster headache include:
- Eye redness
- Eye pain
- Increased sweating
- Stuffed or runny nose on the sore side of the head
- Watery eyes or tearing, typically on one side
Management of cluster headache
Migraine medications might be given to lessen the discomfort during an episode. It is vital to take the drug once a cluster headache starts.
The drug must be fast-acting since the pain becomes severe rapidly. Due to this, the doctor might prescribe the medication as a shot or in inhaled form.
Inhalation of pure oxygen via a mask can also help. Remember that it is vital to manage the pain before it becomes severe.