What is Cluster Headaches

Cluster headaches are a succession of brief but excruciatingly painful headaches that occur daily for weeks or months at a time. They usually appear at the same time every year, such as in the spring or fall. As a result, cluster headaches are frequently misdiagnosed as allergies or work stress. During these cycles, the frequency of your migraines may vary from one headache every other day to numerous headaches every day. Cluster headaches can cause excruciating pain. Cluster headaches are most frequent between the ages of puberty and middle age, but they can strike anyone at any age.

Cluster headaches can cause you to miss work or school for weeks or even months. They like to stick to a schedule, showing up at the same time every day. They can wake you up an hour or two after you have gone to bed. These headaches may be more painful at night than during the day.


Cluster headaches attack suddenly and without warning, but you may experience migraine-like nausea and aura first. The following are some of the most common indications and symptoms of a headache:


The dilatation, or widening, of the blood arteries that feed blood to your brain and face, causes cluster headaches. The trigeminal nerve, which sends feelings from the face to the brain, is compressed by this dilatation. The cause of this dilatation is uncertain. Cluster headaches are a rare form of headache. It's a one-sided headache that can include tears, droopy eyelids, and a stuffy nose. Attacks range from 15 minutes to 3 hours and happen every day or practically every day for weeks or months. Pain-free periods of at least one month or more are used to separate the attacks. Cluster headaches can be mistaken for other types of headaches such as sinus headaches, migraines, and tension headaches.


The most successful ways to treat the pain are for a shot of sumatriptan (Imitrex) and breathing oxygen through a face mask for 20 minutes. Other drugs that are used for migraines which are called triptans may work. Prescription medicines will be based on the ergot fungus and also lidocaine nasal spray might be helpful. Need to take preventive medicine, unless if the headache periods last less than 2 weeks. Then the neurology doctor can prescribe medication to shorten the length of the cluster as well as lessen the severity of the attacks, which includes the following:

  • Divalproex sodium (Depakote)
  • Ergotamine tartrate (Cafergot, Ergomar)
  • Lithium
  • Prednisone, for a short time
  • Verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan)
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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the main cause of cluster headaches?

Cluster headaches are caused by an unknown factor, according to researchers. They appear to be linked to the body's abrupt release of histamine or serotonin. Cluster headaches can be brought on by the following factors: Whether it's drinking alcohol or smoking cigarettes, there's something for everyone.

2. Are cluster headaches dangerous?

Cluster headaches are uncommon compared to other types of main headaches. Identifying headache triggers may aid in the prevention of headaches. A real cluster headache is not dangerous and does not result in chronic brain damage. However, they are more likely to be chronic and recurrent, and they can disrupt your lifestyle or employment.

3. How long can cluster headaches last?

Cluster headaches are grouped. The headaches themselves may be brief (as little as 15 minutes), but they might reoccur up to eight times in 24 hours. Headaches might linger for up to three hours. Cluster cycles can span anywhere from a single day to several weeks.

4. Is caffeine good for cluster headaches?

While caffeine usage and withdrawal can cause headaches, caffeine can also be used to cure headaches.