Cluster headache is a rare condition that affects 69 percent of 100,000 people. This is far less than the number of people who have migraines, sinus headaches or any other type of headaches. It is not something that has been recognized by the medical community for 150 years.
Von Mollendorff, in 1867, was the first person to mention the cluster headache. Sir Charles Symonds, a more detailed account of this rare condition, gave a better explanation in 1956. These headaches have been called many things over the years, including erythroprosopalgia and spenopalatine neurogia.
Cilien neuralgia is Rader’s syndrome, vidian nervegia and histamine cephalalgia. It is considered a treatable condition. It is episodic, which means that you will experience 1-3 episodes in a few weeks. Then, you may go for months or even a year without experiencing an episode. They cause pain in the periorbital (around the eyes) area.
Chronic Cluster Headache
Some people have a chronic cluster headache, meaning they are not able to experience pain. Chronic headaches can be alternated with episodic headaches. Cluster headaches are often grouped together with migraine headaches. However, they can be treated with different medications.
Cluster headaches are not as responsive to propanolol. Migraines usually respond to drugs that contain propanolol. However, migraines don’t respond to drugs containing Lithium. A cluster headache will generally respond to this type. The link that these two types of headaches sometimes share is that people who get clusters often suffer from migraines simultaneously-suggesting some sort of common cause.
Keep in Mind
Who is affected by this type of headache? The cluster headache is more common than migraine, which affects more women than men. It affects more men than women at a ratio 6:1. Cluster headaches usually begin between 20 and 50 years old. However, there have been cases in patients younger than 10 years old and older than 80 years.
The onset of cluster headaches is not linked to women’s monthly periods. Pregnant women often experience a cessation of symptoms for the duration. Cluster headache sufferers may also experience severe side effects from taking birth control pills. This type of headache can be caused by many factors, or triggers. These include food, stress, alcohol and relaxation. Each person has their own trigger mechanisms, so it is important for anyone suffering from cluster headache malady to identify their triggers.
A headache journal is one way to do this. Record everything that happened during the day leading up to an episode’s start. Note everything you eat, drink and where you go. Also note your mental state. You may notice a pattern if you do this each episode. You and your doctor will be able to more effectively diagnose and treat your condition if you have a pattern. It is rare but treatments are improving and it is becoming more common.