Cluster headache causes treatment

Disease cluster cephalalgia – short regular bouts of extremely severe unilateral headache. Cluster headache is a rare phenomenon. Out of every 1,000 patients is diagnosed only three.

Unlike migraines, which are more common in women, cluster (SR) headaches in men are observed 5 times more often. Occurs suddenly, for no apparent reason at the same time each day. The frequency of the attacks – from one to several times per day. Is localized in the periorbital region.

Cluster headache is divided into episodic and chronic. Seizures in the first case occur daily, during a certain time interval. The duration of exacerbations on average 6-12 weeks. Rarely can last for a period of up to six months or suddenly stop in 2 weeks. After a state of calm.

Clustered episodes of headache are rhythm, regularity. Usually come in the fall or spring, 2-3 times a year, about the same time. In some cases, the periods of silence last long – up to 2 years and more. In between episodes of the symptoms of the disease is completely absent.

Chronic cluster cephalalgia is characterized by enduring headaches. The attacks of pain come systematically from day to day. Periods of enlightenment do not exist. This condition lasts for years. A feature of the disease is that of chronic cluster headaches can be reborn in episodic and Vice versa.

Reasons. Predisposing factors

Numerous studies carried out in this direction, do not answer why there is cluster headache. The causes of the disease still remain unclear.

Most likely recognized version of the relationship of the onset of painful periods with bursts of activity of the hypothalamus. “Biological clock” as it is often called this part of the brain is responsible for changing circadian (biological) rhythms of the body, a change which causes beam attacks headaches.

Smoking is seen as a possible cause of cluster headaches.However, this hypothesis is based only on those facts that this form of headaches is more common in smokers. But how the disease is associated with addiction, there is no exact answer. In addition, the complete failure of the patient from Smoking there are no visible changes in the pathogenesis of cluster headache does not occur.

It is believed to trigger the onset of pain period capable of the following factors:

  • Excessive synthesis by the organism of some vasoactive substances, hormones, serotonin, histamine.
  • Stress, nervous stress, overwork.
  • Dysfunction of the trigeminal nerve in the front of the head.
  • Destabilization of neurophysiological processes.
  • Of vascular pathology.
  • Failures humoral regulation characteristic of women before menstruation, during pregnancy, in premenopausal age.

Alcohol consumption, even in small amounts can provoke an attack of cluster headache during the pain period. However, in a “quiet” intervals between episodes does not occur.

Symptoms of cluster cephalgia. The nature of pain

The first time a cluster headache occurs after passing puberty. The disease develops only in adults age category 20-56 years. Can begin at any time, without any apparent reason. The warning sign of the beginning of the attack, no. Signal beam headaches are sometimes searing flashes of light in the eyes.

The attack occurs suddenly, develops rapidly. Reaches peak in 5, maximum 10 minutes. If you do not take any action, unbearable pain persists for 30-60 minutes. In some patients seizures cluster (beam) headaches last only 15 minutes. Sometimes the pain does not subside within 3 hours.

The main symptom of the disease is very strong, excruciating pain. The nature of cluster headache – piercing, burning, stabbing. Occurs exclusively on one side of the head, localized in the eye.

The pain is concentrated in the area of the eyebrows, creates a sense of cramps in the eyeball. Can spread to the temple, forehead, cheek. Sometimes gives the ear and even mandible. In this regard, the cluster headache is appointed only after carrying out advanced diagnostics, allowing to identify the nidus of pain.

Other characteristic symptoms cluster cephalgia consider:

  • Redness of the eyes.
  • Swelling of tissues of the periorbital region.
  • Lacrimation.
  • The retraction of the eyeball.
  • The willies (tik) of the eye.
  • Drooping of the eyelid (upper).

Autonomic symptoms accompanying a cluster headache, occur less frequently.

These include:

  • pallor of the skin;
  • nausea;
  • sweating;
  • nasal congestion;
  • clear discharge from the nose.

All these signs are manifested only on the side of localization of cluster headache. In the second half of the head, such phenomenon does not occur.

Difference of cluster headache from migraine is the patient’s behavior. A migraine attack is the desire to lie down, keep still, close your eyes, the ears from any sounds. Outbreak cluster of pain, on the contrary, makes a person rush to walk in circles, run out to the street. The patient in this state can neither lie, nor sit, becomes irritable, restless, agitated.

Attack can be removed, you can reduce their frequency and reduce the intensity of pain. But to treat cluster headache pain, alas, is impossible.

Features of treatment

The main direction in the treatment of cluster cephalgia is timely analgesic therapy.

To relieve an attack, decrease the severity of symptoms using the following drugs:

  • Ergotamine (cafergot, ergotamine tartrate with caffeine). The intensity of the pain decreases by increasing the tonus of the arteries.
  • Lidocaine (nasal drops). Relieves the pain of acute cluster head.
  • Drugs triptan (Zomig, Imitrex). Applied in the form of nasal sprays, tablets, injections.

An effective method of analgesia beam headaches is oxygen. The attack is removed by inhalation of high concentration oxygen. Cluster headache subsides after 10-20 minutes after the procedure. Relief noted in 70% of patients who use oxygen therapy regularly.

In addition to potent analgesic in the treatment of cluster pain used folk remedies – spices, herbs. For example, Cayenne pepper, which contains capsaicin, partially blocking pain signals entering the brain.

Cayenne pepper is useful to include in the diet as spice is. To relieve the pain of the cluster attack, it is recommended to add it to the cream, vaseline, and then RUB the mixture into the temple.

In the treatment of cluster headaches is used turmeric, known for its antiinflammatory, soothing properties. To reduce the pain during an attack you need to add a pinch of this spice in warm milk. To drink a little glass of “medicine”. As a prevention it is useful to add turmeric to dishes daily menu.

Walnuts – a natural antioxidant. Contain terpenoids, which stimulate blood circulation in the brain, helping to reduce the severity of pulsating headaches. To achieve the desired effect of walnuts is recommended to have in a day on 2-3 pieces.


To extend the periods of calm between episodes of cluster headaches to reduce the severity and frequency of seizures must be excluded from life factors provocateurs. It is recommended to give up alcohol, Smoking, avoid stressful situations, give more time to rest, sleep.

It is desirable to revise the diet. Some products, for example, subjected to long thermal processing of meat or aged varieties of cheese rhythmic provoke headaches. They should be excluded from power or to enter the menu in a minimal amount.

Provoke cluster headache is an afternoon NAP, taking a hot bath, and active sports. These factors therefore also need to remove from life, especially the painful periods.

Be sure to take preventive medicines that reduce periods of exacerbation of the disease:

  • Agents that block calcium channels (Verelan).
  • Drugs that act on the hypothalamus (Eskalith, lithium carbonate, Lithobid).
  • Antiepileptic drugs (Decapoda, Depacon, Depakene, Tampax).
  • Corticosteroids (Prednisone), blocking the pain before the commencement of the preventive medicines.

Therapy is carried out only under the guidance of a doctor. Any drugs are used as intended.

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