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FAQ - Cluster Headache
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I think I have a cluster headache(it feels like i am being stab in the head with a knife) what to take?


Sporty,

Nothing over-the-counter seems to help cluster headaches. The medications used most to treat cluster headaches are subcutaneous Imitrex (sumatriptan) injections, subcutaneous DHE (dihydroergotamine) injections and inhaled medical Oxygen.

The term cluster headaches comes from the attacks usually occur in series (cluster periods) lasting for weeks or months separated by remission periods usually lasting months or years. However, about 10–15% of patients have chronic symptoms without remissions.

Have you been diagnosed with cluster headaches? Unexplained headaches need to be checked out to make sure they're not a symptom of something serious. Hope you'll check this out with your doctor.

Good luck.  (+ info)

Cluster headache, Migraine, or something else?


Here's the story:

On Halloween night I took my kids out and while we were walking I sat down on the curb and got incredibly nauseated and dizzy and a stabbing pain on the right side of my head behind my eye. It was bad enough that I could not get up. They had to call the ambulance to come get me. At this time I was bleeding heavily (period). At the hospital, They diagnosed it a cluster headache and gave me Demerol and oxygen therapy. It got better. I since have not had such an attack but I have had headaches. I went online and researched CH and I don’t match most of the symptoms. It was more like a migraine but my doctor said I don’t get them. I think it had something to do with my heavy period. What are your thought on this? Just wondering if anyone had something simalar?
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I get migraines often and have been going to a neurologist for treatment. You should seek a specialists help -- headaches are not something to "ignore". There are meds such as Topomax that are taken daily as a preventive measure. If the headaches coincide with your period you may want to talk to your gyno about birth control (unless your on it) sometimes that alleviates the headaches. Good Luck, I've been there, they are not fun to deal with. Feel free to email me if you have any more questions.  (+ info)

Cronic cluster headache, stiff neck, muscle knot?


Hello everyone, i am a 18 year old male and i have been suffering headaches almost everyday for 10months now, i can describe the pain as deep thuding most of the time, sumtimes sharp just left from my left eye around my temple, but 90 percent of the time its about 2 inchs up from my left temple.My headaches can last from 2 mins to 3-4 hours, nothing seems to bring on the headaches neither get rid of them also its usally afternoon time when i get them never suddenly after wakening, always feels better after a sleep, my doctor diagnosed my with Chronic Cluster headaches, i have been for a C.T just awaiting the results.3 weeks ago i started to suffer with neck stiffness, when i started to rub i noticed a very hard lump mabey the size of a marble just up/right from my left shoulder blade this is very tender to touch, but i think i could hardly notice this if i didnt touch it, just the stiff neck.Bearing in mind that i have had no other symptoms apart from the daily headache for 10 months the a gradual stiff neck and the muscle knot. I just wanted to know if there is any1 else here who has had the same problem, were the two symptoms combined, how did it work out? Thanks very much
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YOUR GB/UB Meridian is excessive.
pl see what suits you.
If you are in cold country use all warm things.
Pl try cold water bath and observe if in hot country, if pain increases use warm.
If you have cough/cold body hot water bath will help.
Massage and exercise in front of morning sun is good thing, pl try.
Pl try simple acupressure given below for immediate relief.
If it fails you will have to go for Acupuncture.

There is hardly any medicine for H/A OR MIGRAINE. Not only these but for RA, OA, Back ache, Ear ache/ringing, Stomach ache and almost all painful diseases. Hence they become chronic.

Acidity, WORRY, sadness, excessive wind, cold , heat, sour food and sinusitis, constipation, intestinal inflammation; drug side effects, stress, bad smell, TV & COMPUTER SOMETIMES, Blockage in the flow of Vital Energy, BODY CONSTITUTION etc are their causes.
None of them can be treated with medicine.
Our 100% success in treating migraine &H/A confirms it.

Acupuncture is the best treatment.
I can treat it with naturopathy and YOG, but how can you manage pl see.

Pain killers don't treat the pain but we loose the sense of pain for some time; in that duration our body itself treats sometime and credit goes to meds.
The useless drugs have tremendous power of side effects like liver/kidney failures, ulcer, inflammation of intestines and lot more.

Avoid late sleeping if possible; worry, tension, spicy foods, sour fruits, stale bakery foods, SMOKING and alcohole.

Sweet foods, COCOANUT WATER,sweet fruits like dates, milk, rice, SPROUTS, SALADS and good sleep will help if cough is not there.

But you try one herbal remedy- two drops of drumstick leaves' juice in opposite nostril if one side pains and both nostrils if full H/A will give you rescue. Betel leaf helps but it is very strong.

If it is acute pl search a painful point (with round tipped pen/jimmy) 3-6 mm behind your thumb nail and press it, H/A will disappear within 30 seconds.

For forehead/eye pain the points are in front of nails on the finger tips or 3-7 mm below.

It may disappear naturally too.

Source(s):
SHREE SWASTHYAYOG TREATMENT, TRAINING & RESEARCH INSTITUTE
R.H. 19, Jhulelal Society, Sector 2/E, Airoli, Navi Mumbai, INDIA.  (+ info)

migraine/cluster headache/ salt-related?


I've gotten cluster headaches before, and the headaches I'm talking about aren't them, but just wanted to give a bit of background- also, I'm healthy, exercise, eat pretty well except for a strong lack of salt in my diet, because, and here's my question

eating really salty foods (chips especially, most notably fritos) will give me a horrible headache an hour to a few hours afterwards... I realize, in retrospect, that the reason I avoid salty foods isn't really because I have a problem with the taste, but because ingesting much salt always gives me a bad headache.. is this normal? does anyone know why salty foods give me a headache?
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In the terms of migraines, salt could be your trigger. It is common for foods/chemicals to be a trigger for those types of headaches.

Cluster headaches are generally thought to be stress related and can also be triggered by chemicals.

As to the why? That would just be speculation. Your best bet is to see a neurologist and explain your situation to him/her to get a clear diagnosis. Unfortunately these headaches can be indications of something more serious.  (+ info)

Does this sound like a CLUSTER HEADACHE?


A while ago I thought I had cluster headaches and recently, I've started to get the same type of headaches again. Now, I'm really wondering. Does it sound like a Cluster Headache to someone else?

I had these headaches in February and the beginning of March. Then, they were consistent (almost every day), sometimes for hours, sometimes shorter but they'd come back.
For a while, they went away but within the past week or two... they've started up again. They occur around the same time of the day, everyday. On occasion, I won't have it or feel it nearly as bad. Sometimes, they come and go through-out the day. Most of the time, they start sometime around 3pm and come and go until about 7pm; but sometimes, when they are worst... they continue through the night. Luckily, I haven't been waking up to them like I had been.

The pain is excruciating; normally less when I'm seated or laying down but the moment I go to get up... it's almost crippling. The pain used to be mostly on one side of my head, but lately has been mostly in the back of my head and horrible around my neck/shoulders.

I feel extremely tired and often have pale skin when they are worst; and most of the time, my eyes are irritated.

Any information?
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A typical cluster headache cycle, for an episodic sufferer, most commonly appears during seasonal changes. The attacks generally last 6 - 8 weeks, having anywhere from 2 - 10 intense attacks a day, each one lasting (usually) between 30 minutes and two hours.

For many, the first signal of an impending attack is the presence of Horner's Syndrome which is a drooping of the eyelid and dilation of pupil on the affected side of the face. The pain quickly escalates from no pain to unbearable pain in 5 to 10 minutes and then subsides in the same manner it started, unbearable pain to no pain in 5 to 10 minutes. Attacks generally happen at the same time each day like clockwork. Attacks usually escalate from 0 to 6 or 7 (on the Kip scale) for the first day or two of the cycle, then 0 to 8 or 9 for the next few weeks, hitting 10 level pain directly at the peak of the cycle. The number and intensity of attacks increase steadily until the apex of the cycle is reached, bringing the most number of attacks per day with the highest level of pain. The attacks then gradually start to diminish until the cycle is completely gone and the sufferer is in remission until the next cycle. Remission periods are completely unique to each sufferer, but generally range anywhere from six months to five years.

For chronic sufferers, however, the cyclical pattern is absent and the attacks persist throughout the year. The intensity of each attack varies randomly. Remission for chronic sufferers for longer than a 14 day period is very rare, more usually, only a few days at a time.

During a cluster attack, blood pressure elevates, heart rate increases, the body overheats, a ganglion lump on the back of the neck is quite common which becomes inflamed during an attack and diminishes when the attack subsides. Intolerance to light and sound is much more common with migraine sufferers than cluster sufferers, although some do report the same sensitivity and prefer to be in a quiet dark place to be alone, however, remaining motionless or falling asleep during a cluster attack is NOT POSSIBLE.

There is quite often nasal congestion and tearing from the eye on the side of the head that is being attacked. Attacks are usually unilateral (one-sided). Attacks normally occur on the same side of the face each cycle. Attacks very rarely "switch sides" in the middle of a cycle, but have been known to "switch sides" between cycles (right side one cycle, then left side the next cycle).

The pain is centered more on the face than on the rest of the head, specifically the eye, cheek, sinuses (which is why they are so often misdiagnosed as sinus infections). The sufferer can not function normally during an attack and quite often prefers to be left alone in order to deal with their pain. The attack commonly and regularly wakes victims from a sound sleep. The pain has been compared to amputation without anesthetic. Many mothers who are cluster sufferers describe it as a pain much worse than natural childbirth.

Quite often for a migraine sufferer, the slightest motion during an attack can be nauseating and they cannot tolerate any light or sound. It is rare that a true cluster sufferer can remain motionless during an attack because of the intensity of the pain. Contrary to migraines, kicking, thrashing, pacing, rocking and banging the head are common during an attack. Vomiting is not a common episode for most, unless it is a side affect of medication.  (+ info)

what is the symptom of cluster headache ?


You might want to check the following web site. It describes exactly what I was experiencing. Mine were regular and came upon me just after going to bed and each episode lasted for about 45 minutes for a couple of months. I went to the doctor and she prescribed breathing pure oxygen and some ZOLMITRIPTAN. I had the oxygen delivered and the prescription filled, and amazingly haven't had one since. ...Good Luck...
http://www.emedicinehealth.com/cluster_headache/page3_em.htm  (+ info)

How can I get rid of a cluster headache/migraine?


I have migraines & have been told by my doctor I also have cluster headaches, due to tearing eyes & one side or the other of my head hurting/swelling. This headache has been going on for 4 weeks now, starting into the 5th week. Meds only numb it for a hour or two. At this point I just want to die & be done with it. My doctor has refereed me to a neurologist, but can't get in till November! Been down this path before & it didn't help. Please give some suggestions!
How bad is Excedrin Migraine vs Esgic Plus?
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Headaches associated with tears, nasal congestion or stuffy nose, a puffy or droopy eyelid, and redness of the eye mean that the autonomic nerves are involved, and have the fancy medical term of: Trigeminal autonomic cephalgias. Cluster headache is one of these headache types. Regular pain medications may not do as well for these types of headaches as remedies more specific for them, which might vary depending on whether it is cluster headache or one of the even more rare types.

It's too bad that you can't see the neurologist until November. See the links below for information about cluster headache and for lists of headache specialists.

Good luck getting help for your headaches. No one with cluster headache should have to wait four months for help! Ack!  (+ info)

I was exposed to bleach & chlorine gas, now I'm allergic to bleach and have cluster headaches, Anybody else?


After a massive inhalation accident involving bleach and Rydlyme in an enclosed space I now have cluster headaches and the slightest whiff of bleach gives me a really bad headache within two minutes. Smoking cigarettes is no longer an option, as it results in a headache within a few minutes, some of them last several hours and are extremely painful.
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M hmm!! and have you had blood pressure checked? since this accident? Chlorine poisoning usually results in heart damage.

High blood pressure can lead to headaches of the migraine type.

Excellent reason for not smoking!!! That might even help me to quit!

Suggest you go see a cardiologist for complete work up!  (+ info)

I need an online support group for cluster headache sufferers.?


You can also check out www.clusterheadaches.com.

It is a worldwide CH support group with a message board, cluster headaches quiz (for additional info) and links for additional information. I have used it from time to time when mine get bad.  (+ info)

What is the best way to deal with cluster headaches?


I have been getting them for years, but I recently connected the symptoms, frequency, and duration to possibly being cluster headaches. I will see a doctor on Monday, but I would LOVE any suggestions. I have already tried the dark room, cold/hot rags, etc.
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If your headaches are extreme migraine severity but unilateral (on one side) then they likely are cluster headaches. These are generally characterized with the earmark symptoms of a drilling or throbbing pressure behind one eye or ear, tearing eye, sensitivity to light/sound etc, blurred vision, nausea and/or sweating from extreme pain, a drooping eyelid on the affeted side, and even a bloodshot eye.(I personally always get a bloodshot rearing eye on the affected side).

Firstly, You should rule out all other possibilities with an MRI scan. If that comes back okay, you can discuss options with your neuro. For management long-term. here are some suggestions that have worked for me. Make sure your posture isn't hunched over and your neck isn't strained, that's a big one that's often overlooked and understated. Also make sure you aren't grinding your teeth, or that your jaw has too much tension. This may sound cliche, but I found my cluster headaches were due to TMJ, which was caused by a spinal scoliosis, but my own hypertension and stress while sitting caused the scoliosis over time, and also neck and jaw tension, which subsequently triggers cluster headaches.

For ongoing symptoms, you need to find what works best for you.. Usually powerful pain medication is the last resort option for people for obvious reasons as they want to avoid addiction. Many chronic migraine sufferers find relief with oxygen therapy, eg:small tanks or cannisters with oxygen masks. I've seen forums where many extol the virtues of oxygen therapy use. I personally use Excedrin Migraine, guided meditation, or (believe it or not) a bite of a Habanero chili pepper. The heat from the Habanero bite stimulates an endorphin rush which often aborts my cluster headache. The tradeoff is a really hot mouth for about two minutes until it naturally wears off. The capsaicin level needs to be significant though (a few drops of specialty extreme hotsauces work as well *eg: Blair's or Dave's) I've also found that controlled deep breathing, relaxing, and neck and shoulder massage can work just as effectively. The idea is that once people have their headaches the inclination is to stress further which often exacerbates the headache and prolongs it. Sometimes for me, just finding a peaceful place to sit alone, "letting go", finding a "Zen" place, relaxing my breathing, and visualizing my blood vessels and nerves going from a dilated state to smooth and normal, while massaging the back of my neck is all I need. The imagery can be icy waves washing over a hot coal until it turns blue and dissipates. It just depends. The key is too find the ability to relax though, after years of suffering cluster headaches I've learned that stressing the state you're in makes it worse, while "letting go" and finding peace can normalize blood vessel tone. The key is to be able to do it In the throws of a cluster headache and all of its crippling pain.
If you cannot manage that method, you should try alternative aborting methods such as huffing pure oxygen, a bite of a Habanero, or Excedrin Migraine tablets,

Cluster headaches are said to be in the same family as migraines in that they originate from the same place but manifest themselves slightly differently. Whether it's oxygen therapy, Excedrin Migraine, Habanero Chili Peppers, Guided Meditation, or all of the above, I'm fairly certain one or all of the things I've mentioned would work for your cluster headache..

Good Luck.  (+ info)

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