Have you ever come across the question what are cluster headaches?

Well, the answer is not very pleasant; cluster headaches are extremely painful but short-lived headaches that can last for 30 minutes to 3 hours. They tend to recur seasonally due to which many people confuse them with seasonal allergies or stress.

This article will help you understand what a cluster headaches is. Let’s begin!

What are Cluster Headaches?

The very painful headaches are extremely rare. They are so intense and sudden that they can even wake up the affected individual from deep sleep.

The people diagnosed with cluster headaches often complain of excruciating pain in half side of their body that includes eye, neck, shoulder, head, and face.

What are the Causes?

The underlying cause of the cluster headaches is still unknown. Researchers believe that the cluster headaches are likely to occur when a single nerve pathway in the brain region is activated. Studies have shown that the hypothalamus becomes overactive during each attack. The hypothalamus is a small region of the brain that is responsible for hormone production. Whenever it is overactive, it releases neurotransmitters that stimulate the nerve cells; and the result is a bout of cluster headaches.

What are Cluster Headaches’ Signs?

These terrible headaches are sneaky in nature, and they can occur without any apparent warning. However, the affected individuals would complain of flu-like symptoms or signs before each attack.

To understand what cluster headaches are, we need to learn about the symptoms:

  • Warm and red face
  • Facial sweating
  • Runny nose
  • Red, swollen and watery eye
  • The affected eye has smaller pupil
  • Restlessness
  • One-sided pain

What are Cluster Headache Treatments?

Cluster headaches restrict the affected persons from carrying out their daily tasks and disrupt their sleep pattern which is why it is necessary to address the situation in time. There are various alternatives through which the person can be relieved from the constant pain. For instance, you can use OTCs.

What are Treatment through Supplements

Vitamin B2: It is an important vitamin that is necessary for the health as it maintains normal blood cells and boosts energy levels at the same time. The deficiency of vitamin B2 can result in inflammation and nerve damage, which can further intensify the cluster headache attacks. So, it is necessary to have a healthy amount of vitamin B2 supplements on a daily basis.

Magnesium: Medical trials have shown that the lower levels of magnesium in the blood can cause the individual to be at a higher risk of having cluster headaches than the ones who have sufficient supply of magnesium. So if you are prone to cluster headache bouts, you should incorporate magnesium supplements or injections after regular intervals.

What are Treatment through Drugs  

Since most of the people don’t understand what cluster headaches are and how they are treated, here are two most effective ways of treating cluster headaches: oxygen therapy and prescription drugs. Oxygen therapy is the most common method and if prescribed the affected individual will have to breathe oxygen through a mask connected to an oxygen cylinder for around 15 to 20 minutes. Apart from being safe, this method is fairly effective when it comes to the treatment.

Furthermore, if you know what cluster headaches are and you are looking for prescribed drugs to treat your condition, then your doctor might prescribe:

  • Zolmitriptan
  • Maxalt
  • Sumatriptan
  • Frova
  • Relpax
  • Almotriptan

What are easy to use Preventions ?

If you now understand what cluster headaches are, you can work on avoiding this medical condition.  For instance, there are certain triggers present in the environment in the form of food, drinks and other eatables that can result in the attacks. If possible, try to stay clear from all such triggers which include:

  • Alcohol
  • Strong odors
  • Refined sugar
  • Tobacco (Smoking)

If changing your lifestyle or taking prescribed drugs is not helping you with your cluster headaches, then consult with your doctors, and they will suggest other treatment plans. If you know what cluster headaches are, but your symptoms don’t match to the normally associated symptoms, you should look for other types of headaches and their symptoms.