Seasonal Changes & Cluster Type Headache

Tulips are blooming, the birds are chirping, and an extra hour of daylight is upon us. Spring is near! To most, extra hours of daylight is meaningful in the sense of more vitamin D exposure, more outside extracurricular activities and vacation! These positive aspects can transcend into happiness! However, those diagnosed with episodic cluster type headache can beg to differ.

Daylight savings affects the circadian rhythm and seasonal changes can result in sleep dysregulation.

Cluster type headache is characterized by agonizing painful attacks that can last 15 minutes up to an hour. Pain is excruciating and usually localized on one side of the head. Associated symptoms include lacrimation, eyelid droop, nasal congestion and/or rhinorrhea. These attacks tend to occur at predictable times and approximately 80% of patients report that these headaches follow a 24 hour cyclical pattern.

More daylight often means a disruption in sleep patterns. The change in season interferes with the biological clock and could potentially lower the threshold for activating a cluster attack.

The Manhattan Center for Headache and Neurology and its sister site Nervana Neurospa have exceptional providers that can help patients with Cluster headaches understand the mechanisms that contribute to an uptick in attacks due to seasonal fluctuations. Additionally, we can provide options for pain relief!

Cheers to a prosperous Spring!

By: Jordan Shankle, PA