Cluster Headache Treatments

Cluster headaches are viewed by most who suffer from them as the worst possible headache pain imaginable, maybe even the worst pain to be suffered. The question is what can be done for these people to alleviate this agonizing headache pain.

The easiest treatment of headache pain is by using some type of medication that will alleviate the pain, stop the attack and prevent further episodes. The problem is that most pills are unable to this is in a timeframe that helps the cluster headache sufferer.

Cluster headache episodes, or attacks, are characterized by short pangs of intense stabbing pain. Which is why medications that are taken orally, which must then be absorbed by the body, are too slow to kick in before the attack is over. That is why many researchers and doctors recommend instead that the patient use a medication that can be inhaled.

Using Inhalants

There are many different inhalant medications available to the cluster headache patient. Most will put the medication into the patients system within five minutes as long as they are used correctly. First, the inhaler must be shaken forcefully before used to ensure that the patient gets a proper mix of the dosage otherwise its possible that not enough or too much actual medication could be inhaled.

Second, patients must remember to exhale as much air as possible before using the inhaler. This brings more medication into the body when they inhale. The patient must also hold their breath after they have taken in the medication for a number of moments before allowing themselves to resume normal breathing.

These steps are very important to ensuring that the medication is used properly. Used correctly these inhalants will work up to eighty percent of the time. There are many of these inhalants available with the responsibility for making sure the patient finds the one that is best for them resting with their health care provider.

Other Treatments

There are two other possibilities on what can be done for cluster headache patients. One option is the use of one hundred percent pure oxygen. This procedure was first recommended over thirty-five years ago and has recently been studied with the results supporting continued use.

If used with a flow of about ten liters per minute for no more than fifteen minutes this too has an eighty percent success rate. Although this procedure is often recommended for nighttime use, for many it is the only treatment they use. This is perfectly safe as long as its not used more than five times daily.

One other treatment available is the use of prophylactic medications, which are used to help stop the headaches before they even get started. If this is what gets used then there are different treatments for those who suffer episodic or chronic cluster headaches. Sometimes these preventive measures are ongoing with the patient taken daily medication. Other times they are taken during an episode to stop the initial one while at the same time preventing the continuation of the symptoms.