Understanding Cluster Headaches

Cephalalgia, more commonly known as headache, is a condition characterized by pain and discomfort in the head or nape area. It is the most common local pain complaint and is said to be caused by tension, migraine, eye strain, dehydration, low blood sugar, and sinusitis.

While we all know that headaches are fairly common, there are also facts about headaches that are relatively foreign to most of us. One of which is the fact that headaches aren’t merely generalized as headaches, rather, is categorized into four different subsets:

  • Vascular
  • Muscular
  • Cervicogenic
  • Inflammatory

Among these, the first one mentioned is where cluster headaches belong to.

What is a cluster headache?

A cluster headache is defined as a severe, one-sided headache which occurs repeatedly over a short span of time. The pain that this type of headache brings is generally felt through or around the eye area.

Although the cause of this type of vascular headache is yet to be determined, experts claim that alcohol, sleep apnea, stress and fatigue are among the contributing factors that are likely to trigger a cluster headache.

Genetic factors are said to influence the onset of this headache. Experts are also looking into the possibility that a problem in the hypothalamus causes cluster headaches.

There are different types of medicine which can be used to deal with cluster headaches. The first one is the Prophylactic Medicine, which helps in reducing the severity of the headache. Next is the Abortive Headache Medicine, which stops a headache after it has started.

Lastly, there is what we call the high-flow oxygen, which involves breathing in pure oxygen for a 10 to 20 minutes. The high-flow oxygen is the best treatment for cluster headache.