Although cluster headache episodes are usually short, they are extremely painful. These episodes usually happen around the same time of the year and can last a few days. This is why a lot of patients confuse their symptoms with seasonal allergies(1). Cluster headache treatment is needed since these types of headaches are usually more intense than migraine attacks but they don’t last as long. Still, patients usually experience a great deal of pain that deprives them of functioning properly.
Cluster headaches are among the rarest types of headaches. They usually affect more men than women where patients start to get them in their 30s. They might disappear for years but they tend to come back around the same time of the year and without any prior warning signs.
What are the Different Treatments for a Cluster headache?
A cluster headache is usually activated by the trigeminal nerve in our brains. Some neurological messages affect this nerve and trigger a headache. This nerve is responsible for the hot and cold feelings in our faces. This is why patients usually experience a hot feeling near their eyes and this feeling travels to other parts of the face. Patients sometimes experience a burning or piercing pain on one side of the face. It might be constant or throbbing and usually reaches its maximum level within a few minutes.
There is no absolute cure for cluster headaches or how to get rid of them totally. All treatment options on how to get rid of a headache aim to shorten the length of the headache episodes and to decrease their intensity. This will help patients get back to their daily activities and will help them live normally. The most challenging part about treating cluster headaches is that they have no warning signs. A patient could be doing quite well and suddenly starts to experience that agonizing pain on one side of their head or behind an eye. This can make them unable to sleep, drive, read or even talk. For this reason, patients need fast-acting medications that should help them cope with the pain.
Cluster Headache Treatment
Doctors usually prescribe different medications for cluster headache home treatment as OTCs seem to be too weak for this type of pain. A lot of patients experience great improvement with wearing oxygen masks for about 15 to 20 minutes. Inhaling 100% pure oxygen at a minimum rate of 12 liters per minute has proved to relieve the pain symptoms within 15 minutes. This kind of treatment has no side effects but you will have to carry the oxygen cylinder with you at all times. A lot of patients find this quite impractical.
Some migraine medications might work with cluster headaches treatment, even though the two types of headaches are very different in nature. If you are diagnosed with cluster headaches, your doctor might prescribe preventive medications. These aim to lessen the length and the intensity of the headache episode before it happens. However, such medications are usually taken for short periods. Once the expected time of the episode has passed, your doctor will stop your medication.
On very rare occasions, doctors will recommend surgery for patients who suffer from chronic cluster headaches. This might be the only solution for patients who can’t benefit from medications or are worried about their side effects. Still, such an aggressive cluster headache treatment is left as the last option and will not be considered unless all other routes have been explored.
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One of the supplements that seems to work well is magnesium for migraines, you may want to make sure you are taking this supplement.
Article reference: (1)https://www.healthline.com/health/allergies/seasonal-allergies