A few years ago, I experienced the worst headache I’ve had in my entire life. This was very alarming because of the extent of pain I felt. It started with a slight pain so I tried to ignore it thinking that it would soon go away. After a few days, I tried to take a pain reliever. It still didn’t go away. Instead, it progressed until I could no longer bear it. I went to see my doctor and was diagnosed of having a cluster headache.
This is not a very common type of headache. Experiencing the excruciating pain made me think that I had a brain tumor. I even asked my doctor that I undergo a CT scan to make sure that this was not life threatening. I had my head scanned and was relieved to learn that there were no adverse findings. In addition, my doctor suggested that I undergo a blood lab work, which I did and found nothing related to any life-threatening disease. I was asked to try an over-the-counter medication to see if it would relieve the pain before I would eventually be put on a prescribed medication. I was also given an Intranasal Lidocaine nasal spray. Following the doctor’s advise, I noticed that the pain gradually went away. From that time on, I never had a disabling pain except for occasional mild symptoms. I am aware that I may be on a remission right now but I am not looking forward to experiencing another cycle of cluster headache.
Below is the list of symptoms I had while having a cluster headache. If you experience the same thing, do not assume that you are also having this type of headache as different persons may experience different symptoms. It is advisable to see a doctor to get an accurate diagnosis.
- Pain on one side of the head that lasts about 3 to 4 hours everyday for 3 months (right side of the forehead and from top to back of the head)
- Pain on the eyebrow area
- Pain on the eye
- Pain on the eyelid
Important Information About Cluster Headache
It is so called cluster headache because it exhibits a cyclical pattern or a cluster of painful attacks that typically lasts from weeks to months. Each pattern is usually followed by a remission. During the remission period, no headaches occur for months or years. Intense pain on one side of the head is the most common symptom that a cluster headache sufferer experiences.
Although the actual cause of cluster headache is yet unknown, the abnormality of hypothalamus is widely considered to be associated with it. Hypothalamus is a small gland in the brain that releases hormones responsible for stimulating or inhibiting the secretion of hormones by other glands including the pituitary gland.
Common Factors That Trigger Cluster Headache
Some sufferers say that at least one or more of the following may trigger the occurrence of cluster headache:
- Disrupted sleep patterns or lack of sleep
- Strong fragrances and odors such as cologne, perfume, paint, acetone
- Over fatigue
The above items are just common factors that trigger cluster headaches. Others who suffer from this type of headache may experience something else or all of the above. If you think you are having a cluster headache, consult your physician. These are not meant to diagnose symptoms.
To learn more about cluster headache, its symptoms and how to cope up with it, visit http://www.emedicinehealth.com.