Cluster headaches are rare headaches that occur in patterns called clusters. These headaches occur once or more daily, often at the same times each day, for a period of several weeks, followed by a headache-free period lasting weeks, months, or even years.
Cluster headache sufferers typically experience very severe headaches of a piercing quality near one eye or temple that last for up to three hours. Cluster headaches are frequency associated with drooping eyelids, red, watery eyes, and nasal congestion on the affected side of the face. They are unilateral and rarely change sides.
Whereas other headaches, such as migraines occur more often in women, cluster headaches occur several times as often in men. Cluster headaches are occasionally referred to as "alarm clock headaches", as they can occur at night and wake a person from sleep. Although they can strike at any age, cluster headaches typically begin around the age of 50.
While the immediate cause of pain is stimulation of the trigeminal nerve, the true cause of cluster headache remains largely unknown, though there are many speculations. Among the most widely accepted is that cluster headaches are due to an abnormality in the hypothalamus. This can explain why cluster headaches frequently strike at around the same time each day, as one of the functions the hypothalamus performs is regulation of the biological clock.
Cluster headaches are benign, but extremely painful.
Cluster headaches (also called cluster migraines or Horton's syndrome) are similar to migraines but are much more severe. Attacks arrive in clusters lasting weeks to months, with months or years between headache cycles...
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