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Cluster headaches

Cluster Headache – Cluster

Headache Symptoms

You can hardly find a person that has not suffered from headache in his life, but almost everybody uses the word cluster headache to qualify a migraine headache . _________________________________________ Migraine headache or Cluster headache In fact, very few people are capable of distinguishing a common migraine from a real more severe cluster headache for migraine headache symptoms are somehow roughly comparable to those of cluster headache symptoms . _________________________________________ Episodic or chronic cluster headache To make things clear from the very beginning, we will try to explain – as simply as possible – the more usual but typical cluster headache symptoms not to afraid the readers. Doctors and scientists do make a clear distinction between episodic cluster headache symptoms and chronic cluster headache symptoms .  Episodic cluster headache symptoms usually occur a few times a day and may last for a few weeks, whereas chronic cluster headache symptoms may last for at least one year without a pain-free period of at least one month. _________________________________________ Common cluster headache symptoms The prevalent cluster headache symptoms of an attack focus on the extreme severity of the one- sided pain experienced in the region of the eye or in the temple, that can usually last anywhere between a quarter of an hour and three full hours - unless the disorder is treated adequately -, and that can be repeated at the rate of one to sixteen attacks within a period of 48 hours. Usually one or more of the cluster headache symptoms mentioned hereafter accompanies the headache and also appear on the aching side of the head: a rapid onset, increases in intensity over time, facial flushing, a so-called drooping or falling of any of the eyelids, an abnormal constriction of the pupil, the production or shedding of tears, a runny nose, daily occurrence or almost every day for 4-8 weeks, etc. _________________________________________ Typical behaviour of people with cluster headache symptoms Very often, the people developing cluster headache symptoms are incapable of staying quiet, feel the need to keep moving, walking or rocking. They develop a visible restlessness and may also show a strong intolerance to excessive noise and bright lights of any kind during the whole duration of the attacks . The following cluster headache symptoms can also be encountered, but more rarely: nausea, a stiff neck, jaw pain, toothache… _________________________________________ Further signs of cluster headache symptoms  As cluster headache symptoms often vary considerably in form and intensity from one patient to another, the following remarks may also be taken into consideration: The people suffering from the disorder are no longer capable of controlling their thoughts and organizing or working out plans. The victims constantly fear the next headache attack that can happen at any time and are therefore absolutely incapable of scheduling any action to take place in the future. The cluster headache attacks occur every day of the week, even several times a day, usually for the duration of a quarter of an hour till three hours. Most migraine attacks recur – without any warning – every day at the very same time. Most migraine attacks occur at night, generally a few hours after going to bed. Another typical sign of cluster headache symptoms is that the pain that has suddenly begun as a strong headache also vanishes as rapidly as it has started – without apparent reasons – leaving the person absolutely pain-free but completely exhausted. _________________________________________ Episodic cluster headache symptoms Cluster headache symptoms can be episodic. In this case, the victim may suffer from one to several attacks a day whereby the suffering period may last for several weeks. Once completed, this suffering period may be followed by a so called headache  free period that can last for weeks, months or even years. The number of chronic cluster headache sufferers is estimated to be between 10 and 20 per cent. This group is likely to have to experience several headache attacks a day for years. When cluster headache symptoms are encountered from two to more individual periods lasting from one week to one year with a pain-free period of time of at least one month between the clusters, they are classified “episodic”. On the other side, when cluster headache symptoms are encountered for a period of at least one year without a pain-free period of at least one month, they are considered ‘chronic”. _________________________________________ What is a cluster headache ? The few people who have experienced a cluster headache generally describe it as an intense pain that is mostly occurring on one side of the head. Most people as well as several scientists have classified the extreme pain generated by cluster headaches as the strongest pain a person can experience ever. The majority of those suffering from cluster headaches report that the cluster headache ,  also called Horton’s Cephalalgia, mostly appear periodically. _________________________________________ How are cluster headaches classified ? Doctors usually classify cluster headaches as either primary or secondary to determine the adequate treatment . Primary headaches are not caused by any kind of disease and are classified as either tension-type headaches migraine headaches or cluster headaches Tension-type headaches are by far the most common ones and account fortunately for approximately 90 per cent of all types of headaches . They are immediately followed by the migraine group that is also referred to as the “ neurovascular type ”. The third type, the cluster headache ,  occurs more rarely and its appearance is apparently the result of a function of the hypothalamus that is among others also responsible for the body’s biologic rhythms. Secondary headaches can occur after a neck injury, an infection of the sinus, a stroke, etc. Doctors and researchers estimate that approximately two per cent of these are sinus headaches . Approximately one in 20 persons suffers from a chronic daily headache at least for a period of about 50 per cent of the month. Chronic daily headaches are of two kinds: short duration headaches  that last for less than 4 hours are called cluster headaches and long-duration  headaches that last for more than 4 hours are generally tension-type headaches and are recurring. _________________________________________ Cyclical patterns of cluster headaches Cluster headaches always occur in conformity with cyclical patterns or clusters, belong to the most painful types of headache and are fairly rare. A cluster headache can also be referred to as a histamine headache, headache histamine, a migrainous neuralgia, a headache cluster, or a Horton's headache . People suffering from a cluster headache mostly qualify the intense pain they feel in the eye region or in the temple as sharp, burning, steady, intolerable or excruciating, although occasionally it may be pulsatile and throbbing. The pain then spreads to the forehead, jaw, upper teeth, temples, nostrils, shoulder or neck. The duration of a cluster can vary widely from one individual to another and last either for weeks or for  months and is usually followed by a so-called “remission period” during which no headache attack occur. Cluster headaches are not predictable; they are rare and fortunately not life- threatening. However, as already mentioned, the pain can grow so intolerably that a big number of affected people have attempted or at least considered committing suicide. Appropriate treatments and medication can reduce the length, the number and the intensity of cluster headache attacks . _________________________________________ Episodic and chronic cluster headache symptoms Cluster headache symptoms can be episodic. In this case, the victim may suffer from one to several attacks a day whereby the suffering period may last for several weeks. Once completed, this suffering period may be followed by a so-called headache- free period that can last for weeks, months or even years. The number of chronic cluster headache  sufferers is estimated to be anywhere around fifteen per cent. This group is likely to have to experience several headache attacks a day for years. When cluster headache symptoms are encountered from two to more individual periods lasting from one week to one year with a pain-free period of time of at least one month between the clusters, they are classified “episodic”. On the other side, when cluster headache symptoms are encountered for a period of at least one year without a pain-free period of at least one month, they are considered ‘chronic”. _________________________________________ What effects can a cluster headache have on a person’s quality of life? The effects are undoubtedly tremendous as cluster headaches are commonly responsible for causing anxiety and depression, thus for depriving the people suffering from the disorder of a big deal of their quality of life. _________________________________________ Description of the cluster headache pain The cluster headache pain is usually located on one side of the head, in the region of the eye or in the temple and may in some cases radiate to the neck or even to the shoulder. The pain itself is often commented as a knife, a spike or a nail inserted with force into the eye. It is also described as an intense ‘boring’ so painful and distressing that the person – the victim – is no longer able to stay quiet, feel the need to start walking and bang his head against the next object. The pain can grow so intensively within a few minutes, be repeated from two to ten times a day and the attack may last each time from half an hour till three hours. This disorder has also been called suicide headache as the pain experienced by its victims can be so excruciating that most of them have been considering committing or at least attempting suicide. Horton’s 1939 paper on cluster headache reads as follows: “Our patients were disabled by the disorder and suffered from bouts of pain from two to twenty times a week. They had found no relief from the usual methods of treatment. Their pain was so severe that several of them had to be constantly watched for fear of suicide. Most of them were willing to submit to any operation which might bring relief." _________________________________________ Possible causes of cluster headaches To date no scientist can say for sure what exactly causes a cluster headache .  However, most experts would agree that abnormalities in the function of the hypothalamus – the place where our biological watch is located – are most likely involved. These abnormalities may justify or at least try to explain both the precise timing and the cyclical functioning of cluster headaches .  The following may be responsible for the occurrence of a cluster headache : drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes or cigars, exposition to bright light or sunlight, excessive heat, taking a hot bath, consuming foods high in nitrites, taking cocaine or certain medications, any kind of exertion… _________________________________________ Some facts about cluster headaches Cluster headaches mostly appear in adolescence and middle age, but can occur at any age and men are three to four times more affected than women. Usually they are passed down to the next generation through genes. Cluster headaches are relatively rare and affect less than one person in hundreds of the population. The majority of people suffering from cluster headache have either a personal or a family history of migraine . Corresponding surveys have shown that approx. 15 per cent of patients suffer from both migraine and cluster headache . _________________________________________ Some oddities in cluster headache symptoms As all patients are different, one cannot expect that each of them has all the so-called typical cluster headache symptoms mentioned previously. Some patients may recognize a few of them but hardly will a patient have all of them. Others will even experience further cluster headache symptoms  that do not fit the typical cluster headache attack . While the vast majority of the people suffering from cluster headache experience the pain on only one side of the head, other patients may feel the severe and intense pain on both sides at different times. Some even report that pain may switch sides. Sometimes, cluster headache symptoms are misdiagnosed as a sinus case because of the apparent congestion symptoms and receive the wrong treatment. From the above, we can but learn that cluster headache symptoms are very individual.  Therefore, if you suffer from cluster headaches or think you may because you have recognized a few of the listed cluster headache symptoms ,  we can but recommend you to contact immediately your doctor or your alternative practitioner for a diagnosis. Cluster headaches symptoms should always be taken seriously as they can be the first sign of other more life threatening problems. So consulting timely your doctor or your alternative practitioner is important to rule out those possibilities. _________________________________________ Cluster headache causes The possible causes for suffering from cluster headache are indeed manifold. Let’s start with the most obvious cause of getting a cluster headache ,  the inherited one. Cluster headache causes – Heredity – If you realize that a family member – a parent or sibling – gets migraine headaches or receives a cluster headache treatment ,  you may have an increased risk of cluster headaches ,  and it is not surprising you get your cluster headaches ,  too. The abnormalities in the brain that cause or lead to the migraine or the cluster headache are believed to be genetically inherited. Corresponding surveys have shown that about three in four people who get migraines or cluster headaches have a family history of the disorder. Cluster headache causes – Smoking – Another cause capable of triggering cluster headaches is smoking. The majority of the afflicted people is usually heavily addicted to cigarettes. Passive smoking has been reported to be capable of triggering cluster headaches or worsening the migraines or cluster headache attacks ,  too. It should also be noted that quitting smoking generally does not have an effect on the cluster headache  course . Cluster headache causes – Alcohol –  Cluster headaches are also found commonly in people drinking alcohol excessively. Alcohol is classified as a potential precipitant of cluster headache attacks and even minimal amount of alcohol can often bring on the intense pain within one hour of drinking. In episodic cluster headache  ,  usual normal alcohol consumption can restart as soon as the cluster headache period is over, without provoking a headache . In other words, alcohol must not be consumed during the cluster headache period. Alcohol, most commonly red wine, may trigger a migraine or a cluster headache attack . Cluster headache causes – Age and Gender – They also belong to the cluster headache causes .  It is a fact that migraines are diagnosed more often in women and that cluster headaches are more often found in men. Men are four to seven times more likely to suffer from cluster headaches than women. They primarily start between the ages of 20 to 50 in men and around 60 in women. _________________________________________ Can cluster headache be prevented ? Since the cause of cluster headache is still unknown, there is consequently no way to prevent it.  Nevertheless, it is crucial for people who have already experienced cluster headaches to establish a kind of preventive strategy for the future cluster headache attacks .  A consequent preventive strategy can help lowering the intensity and tangibly reduce the frequency of the cluster headache attacks .  Taking preventive medication usually enhance the effectiveness of the acute medication that would otherwise bring only little relief to the patient. Moreover, by not consuming any kind of alcohol and by strictly avoiding nicotine, you may help lower your risk of future cluster headaches .  It is also very important to maintain a regular sleep-awake pattern and that you identify your personal triggers so that you can concentrate on avoiding them and so avoid or sensibly reduce the intensity of the next cluster headache attack .
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Cluster headaches educational video 1/12

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Cluster headaches educational video 2/12

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Cluster headaches educational video 3/12

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Cluster headaches educational video 4/12

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Cluster headaches educational video 5/12

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Cluster headaches educational video 6/12

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Cluster headaches educational video 7/12

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Cluster headaches educational video 8/12

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Cluster headaches educational video 9/12

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Cluster headaches educational video 10/12

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Cluster headaches educational video 11/12

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Cluster headaches educational video 12/12

language: german          soon with subtitels in englisch
Cluster headaches educational video  part 1/7  Location: VHS Langen, Germany language: german  -  “soon with subtitels in englisch”
Cluster headaches educational video  part 2/7  Location: VHS Langen, Germany language: german  -  “soon with subtitels in englisch”
Cluster headaches educational video  part 3/7  Location: VHS Langen, Germany language: german  -  “soon with subtitels in englisch”
Cluster headaches educational video  part 4/7  Location: VHS Langen, Germany language: german  -  “soon with subtitels in englisch”
Cluster headaches educational video  part 5/7  Location: VHS Langen, Germany language: german  -  “soon with subtitels in englisch”
Cluster headaches educational video  part 6/7  Location: VHS Langen, Germany language: german  -  “soon with subtitels in englisch”
Cluster headaches educational video  part 7/7  Location: VHS Langen, Germany language: german  -  “soon with subtitels in englisch”
Cluster headaches educational video  1h 14 min  Location: VHS Langen, Germany language: german  -  “soon with subtitels in englisch”
Cluster headaches educational video  1h 51min   Location: VHS Rodgau, Germany language: german  -  “soon with subtitels in englisch”
Cluster headaches educational video  59min   Location: Offenbach language: german  -  “soon with subtitels in englisch”
Cluster headaches educational video  1h 32min   Location: VHS Langen, Germany language: german  -  “soon with subtitels in englisch”
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