What are the Symptoms of Cluster Headaches?

What are the Symptoms of Cluster Headaches?

Cluster headaches are severe headaches that occur in clusters or cycles, often characterized by intense pain on one side of the head. The symptoms of cluster headaches can be debilitating and typically include:

  1. Severe Pain:
    • Intense, stabbing or burning pain, often described as a “hot poker” or “ice pick” sensation, usually around the eye or temple on one side of the head.
  2. Unilateral Pain:
    • Pain is usually felt on one side of the head, often around the eye, temple, forehead, or cheek.
  3. Duration of Attacks:
    • Attacks are typically short but extremely painful, lasting from 15 minutes to 3 hours, and can occur multiple times a day during a cluster period.
  4. Frequency:
    • Occur in clusters, often at the same time each day, usually for several weeks to months, followed by a period of remission.
  5. Regular Timing:
    • Attacks often occur at specific times, often waking the individual from sleep.
  6. Restlessness or Agitation:
    • During an attack, individuals may feel restless or agitated, unable to sit still due to the intensity of pain.
  7. Tearing or Redness of the Eye:
    • During an attack, the affected eye may water excessively or become red and swollen.
  8. Nasal Congestion or Runny Nose:
    • The nostril on the affected side may become congested or runny.
  9. Drooping Eyelid (Ptosis) or Swelling of the Eyelid:
    • The eyelid on the affected side may droop, and the eye may appear swollen.
  10. Sensitivity to Light (Photophobia) and Sound (Phonophobia):
    • Increased sensitivity to light and sound during an attack.
  11. Unpredictable Onset:
    • Attacks can occur suddenly without warning.

It’s important to consult a healthcare professional if you suspect you are experiencing cluster headaches. Proper diagnosis and a tailored treatment plan, which may include medication, lifestyle changes, and pain management techniques, can help manage and alleviate the intensity and frequency of cluster headaches.

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