Cluster headaches are a particular type of headache that only affects a small part of the population. Some estimates put the occurrence of a cluster headache problem at a rate of 69 out of every 100,000 people being afflicted. This type of headache is not frequently talked about, and so, weve compiled this article in order to aid your understanding so that you can better diagnose a cluster headache problem if one were to arise.
Most people that fall victim to cluster headaches find that they begin to occur between the ages of twenty and fifty. The median age for a condition to begin at rests at about thirty years. However, the problem can strike at any point in life, with some experiencing the first symptoms before they reach their tenth birthday and some cases not occurring until age 80 or later. The problem affects men much more than it does women, with only one out of every six cluster headache patients being female.
Diagnosing a Cluster Headache
To better understand whether a headache is a cluster headache or one of a more common variety, you need to note the symptoms that are occurring when the headaches take hold. The average cluster headache attack occurs for a span of time that is somewhere between a half hour and two hours. Those who are afflicted with a cluster headache problem can expect to experience the attacks at a rate that can vary between one attack per week and around six per day, depending on the severity of the condition.
The attacks come in waves, however, with most patients experiencing a 4 to 8 week long bout with the headaches before experiencing a remission. In some cases, the attacks may last for years, but this occurs only in a very small amount of patients with cluster headaches.
When it comes to looking for symptoms to diagnose cluster headaches, youre going to want to note the condition of the nasal passage. If it is blocked, you may be experiencing cluster headaches. Also, redness of the eye and sweating from the forehead and cheeks can commonly occur in those with cluster headaches.
When the attacks begin, the heart rate tends to increase to a much quicker pace. This is also something to note when considering which type of headache that youre experiencing.
The pain that you experience from a cluster headache usually begins around or above the eye, and spreads outward. The attacks come on quickly and reach the apex of pain in anywhere from 2 to 15 minutes.
There is no cure for cluster headaches. There are only treatments that can help you to lessen the amount of pain that you are feeling. Common analgesics such as aspirin are not too effective when it comes to dealing with cluster headache pain since that by the time the pills take hold, the headache will usually be approaching its end. Antihistamines, calcium channel blockers, and ergot preparations are commonly prescribed to patients with cluster headaches in order to alleviate the symptoms that they experience.
If you are experiencing headaches that disturb your sleep, cause you to lose focus during the day or cause you pain every time you try to participate in any active movement, you are advised to speak to a doctor about your headaches.