Cluster headaches are a form of headache that presents as stabbing pain around one eye or temple peaking within a few minutes of onset, typically lasting bout 15 minutes, often occurring the same time each day. These headaches, which are severe, and often referred to as “suicide headaches” and are short in duration, often occurring up to 8 times a day. Accompanying symptoms often include tearing, redness, swelling, or drooping of the eyelid on the affected side, or runny nose on the affected side.
They are associated with changes in the seasons, often around when you re-set your clock for daylight savings time. Experts believe that the disruption in sleep cycles due to changes in amount of sunlight from the longer or shorter days that lead to attacks. For this reason, patients may have cycles of headaches in Spring or Fall. Cluster headaches may also be mistaken for allergy-related symptoms due this timing.
Treatment for cluster headaches may involve a combination of pharmacological therapy and lifestyle changes. In particular, sticking to a strict sleep-wake schedule and avoiding alcohol may help prevent headaches or decrease severity of attacks.
If you think you are suffering from cluster headaches, call The Manhattan Center for Headache & Neurology to speak to one of our caring providers