Cluster headaches occur in cyclical patterns or clusters, which gives the condition its name. Cluster headache is one of the most painful types of headache.
Cluster headache commonly awakens you in the middle of the night with intense pain in or around one eye on one side of your head.
Bouts of frequent attacks, known as cluster periods, may last from weeks to months, usually followed by remission periods when the headache attacks stop completely. During remission, no headaches occur for months and sometimes even years.
Fortunately, cluster headache is rare and not life-threatening. Treatments can help make cluster headache attacks shorter and less severe. In addition, medications can help reduce the number of cluster headaches.
June 04, 2013
- Headache: Hope through research. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/headache/detail_headache.htm. Accessed April 4, 2013.
- May A. Cluster headache: Epidemiology, clinical features and diagnosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 4, 2013.
- May A. Cluster headache: Acute and preventive treatment. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 4, 2013.
- Daroff RB, et al. Bradley's Neurology in Clinical Practice. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4377-0434-1..00094-3--s0015&isbn=978-1-4377-0434-1&uniqId=407506908-3#4-u1.0-B978-1-4377-0434-1..00094-3--s0015. Accessed April 4, 2013.
- Cluster headaches. National Headache Foundation. http://www.headaches.org/education/Headache_Topic_Sheets/Cluster_Headaches. Accessed April 10, 2013.
- Neurological diagnostic tests and procedures. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/misc/diagnostic_tests.htm. Accessed April 9, 2013.
- Evers S. Pharmacotherapy of cluster headache. Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy. 2010;11:2121.
- Francis GJ, et al. Acute and preventive pharmacologic treatment of cluster headache. Neurology. 2010;75:463.
- Rossi P, et al. Use of complementary and alternative medicine by patients with cluster headache: Results of a multi-centre headache clinic survey. Complementary Therapies in Medicine. 2008;16:220.
- Sewell RA. Response of cluster headache to kudzu. Headache. 2009;49:98.
- Magis D, et al. Neurostimulation therapies for primary headache disorders: Present and future. Current Opinion in Neurology. 2012;25:269.
- U.S. News best hospitals 2012-2013. U.S. News & World Report. http://health.usnews.com/best-hospitals/rankings. Accessed April 4, 2013.