What's a Cluster Headache?

Cluster headaches are named for their tendencies to occur in patterns of weeks or months. The headaches appear at least once a day for fifteen minutes to two hours, before disappearing completely during "remission periods." They occur most often during the night and are known to disrupt sleep.The headaches present as a painful throbbing around an eye, or on one side of the head. Cluster headaches are quite rare and can be shortened and less painful with the help of treatment.

Cluster Headache Symptoms

Patients who suffer from cluster headaches tend to experience some of the following symptoms:

Severe pain around one eye and sometimes spread throughout the rest of the face, head, or neck

Tearing, swelling, or redness in the affected eye


Reduced pupil size or drooping eyelid

Possible Causes

The exact causes for cluster headaches are largely unknown. Unlike tension headaches and migraines, cluster headaches are not brought on by external triggers. However, there are certain conditions associated with cluster headaches. These include:

Abnormalities in the hypothalamus

Changing seasons

Alcohol consumption

Treatment Options

Treatments for tension headaches vary depending on their intensity and frequency as well as the preferences of individual patients. The Headache Response Center offers a full range of treatments for tension headaches, all intended to help eliminate your headaches in a way that is right for you. These include:

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