How to Identify a Cluster Headache

We, at the Houston Headache Institute, know that cluster headaches can be debilitating. These headaches mainly affect men, unlike migraines which are more common in women. Cluster headaches can be difficult to diagnose, which is why we recommend visiting our Institute if you feel you may be suffering from this type of headache.

What are Cluster Headaches?

When it comes to headaches, the term “cluster” refers to a period of time lasting weeks or months. Cluster headaches are neurological disorders that generally occur on just one side of the head. The pain is usually behind one eye and along the temple. These cluster headaches tend to be associated with seasonal changes, and they can peak at the equinox.

People sometimes feel restless and agitated during these headache clusters because the pain is so intense. Symptoms of cluster headaches tend to be on just one side of the head, and they include:

  • A tearing, watering eyeman with headache
  • A droopy, swollen eyelid,
  • Changes in pupil size (with the pupil on the affected side becoming noticeably smaller)
  • Sweating on one side of the face
  • Nasal stuffiness
  • Red ear
  • Pale skin
  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Some people experience auras on one side of the head

The pain of a cluster headache is often described as a “drilling” in the head. The pain can last anywhere from 15 minutes to 3 hours. The headaches often recur up to eight times a day. While the headaches may be brief, the cycles may continue for weeks.

Who Suffers from Cluster Headaches?

As stated above, men suffer most from cluster headaches. In fact, males are two to four times more likely to develop cluster headache than females. The majority of those who suffer from cluster headaches are adults, but they have been reported in children as young as six years of age.

Houston Headache Institute

Although cluster headaches are rare, we at the Houston Headache Institute have effective treatment methodologies to reduce the symptoms of these terrible headaches. We work with each individual patient to determine the treatment that will be most effective for them.

If you believe that you or someone you love suffer from cluster headaches, contact us to schedule a consultation so that we can help provide relief.