Cluster headache is fairly rare compared to the other primary headache disorders. Men are affected three to four times as often as women. The mean age of onset is 28 years old although it can start at any age.
The “cluster period” is when the headache attacks recur for weeks to months at a time. The “remission period” is when the cluster periods are separated by months or even years of pain freedom. Individual headache attacks are characteristically brief in duration of 15 to 180 minutes each but may occur once every other day to eight headache attacks per day. They particularly occur at night and may wake one from a sound sleep. The severe pain itself is one-sided and may be associated with redness in the eye, the flow of tears, nasal congestion, discharge of mucous from the nose, eyelid swelling, forehead and facial sweating, constriction of the pupil of the eye, a drooping eyelid, and/or a sense of restlessness or agitation.
Cluster headache pain and its associated symptoms can be managed with acute treatments, preventive treatments, or both. Treatment plans are individualized per patient based upon multiple factors and before treatment can be optimized, a process of trial and error is often necessary.
If you think that you suffer from cluster headache, it is vital to seek appropriate treatment from a neurologist. To schedule an appointment with Tampa Bay Neurology & Sleep Medicine, please call us at (813) 564-0140 or request one online.