What Are Cluster Headaches?

Cluster headaches can hit you many times in a day and come on without any warning. They are not known to last for long and are horribly painful. Also called suicide headaches, it brings on an intense pain, sometimes felt only on one side of the head. Sometimes, you might even feel the pain around an eye and it might be watery and red. Chances are, your nose could runny or even blocked as well.

Cluster headaches are triggered by alcohol or extreme changes in temperature. In Northern countries, cluster headaches are known to make an appearance quite frequently during autumn.

True to its name, cluster headaches take place in a cycle – and a regular attack can last from anything to a few days, weeks or even months.
Thankfully, cluster headaches are not all that common. One in every 1,000 people are said to be affected by it. Men are said to be affected by cluster headaches than women, with around 80% of the sufferers being male; a larger majority of them being smokers. Cluster headaches do not have any known long-term effects on your health, and drugs and even oxygen therapy can be used to reduce the intensity and occurrence of the headaches.

What causes cluster headaches?

Medical experts are still unsure what causes cluster headaches. Research shows an increased amount of activity in the hypothalamus during a cluster headache attack. The nature of the headaches also indicates that it could be linked to our biological clock that is incidentally situated in the hypothalamus.

Research also indicates that sufferers of cluster headaches have been found to have unusual levels of hormones such as melatonin and cortisol.

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