How To Get Rid Of A Cluster Headache?

Cluster headaches are one of several types of headaches. The pain is usually permanent, intensive, and not throbbing, which feels deep inside the head or around the eyes on one side of the head. The pain often moves to the forehead, temples, and cheeks.

Cluster headaches are unpredictable. A few months can be free without headaches, but then this disease can recur. The pain can also disappear quickly or slowly.

Home remedies to overcome cluster headaches
image by Mohamed Hassan/Pixabay

Cluster headaches that occur at night often awaken sufferers with severe pain around the side of the eye. A cluster headache cycle can occur every week to every month, followed by a period of reduction or relief of pain when the headache has stopped. This period known as the remission period can last for several months to several years.

Cluster headaches can be divided into two types, namely episodic headaches and chronic headaches. Episodic cluster headaches occur 1-2 times within a period of 7 days to one year, with a period of remission (headache free) of at least 1 month. Chronic cluster headaches occur more frequently than episodic clusters, and without a remission period or remission period of less than 1 month.

Cluster headaches are rare in people who do not have risk factors. In addition, cluster headaches are not fatal. The treatment is aimed at reducing pain intensity, shortening the duration of the pain, and reducing the frequency of cluster headaches.

Cluster headaches Causes.

The main causes of cluster headaches have yet to be ascertained. Based on the cycle of emergence of cluster headaches, it is suspected that the main cause is a disorder of biological clock that is regulated by the hypothalamus. The affected hypothalamus activates stimulation to the trigeminal nerve which causes the appearance of heat and pain in the face and around the eyes. A number of factors thought to have contributed to cluster headaches were:

  1. Hot weather
  2. Use of nitroglycerin
  3. Stress
  4. Relaxation
  5. Extreme temperature
  6. Allergic Rhinitis
  7. Sexual activity
While several factors that can increase a person's risk of getting cluster headaches are:
  1. Male sex. Men are more often affected by cluster headaches than women.
  2. Age. Although cluster headaches can occur at any age, this condition generally occurs at the age of 20-50 years.
  3. Smoking habit. Most cluster headache sufferers are people who have a smoking habit. However, stopping smoking also does not guarantee that it can reduce the risk of developing a headache.
  4. Consumption of alcoholic beverages. Alcohol can trigger headache attacks in people who are indeed at risk for this condition.
  5. Family history. A person is at risk of experiencing cluster headaches if he has a family member with that history.
Cluster headaches will generally be a problem throughout the life of the sufferer. Nevertheless, there were no cases of death caused directly by this condition. But it should be noted that with severe headaches, the patient has the risk of self-injury, becoming a smoker or increasing the frequency of smoking, increasing alcohol consumption.

Cluster headaches symptoms.

Cluster headaches often appear suddenly and without symptoms that precede. Increased pain due to cluster headaches until they reach the peak of pain lasts about 5-10 minutes. However, in some people, sometimes the appearance of cluster headaches is preceded by nausea and headaches such as migraines. Symptoms of cluster headaches that often appear are as follows:

  1. Torture pain that generally appears in the area around the eye and can spread to the neck, head, shoulders, or face.
  2. Can't rest or sleep.
  3. Excessive tears.
  4. Body pain.
  5. One eye becomes red or swollen, depending on the side of the head that is experiencing pain.
  6. One nostril becomes runny or stuffy, depending on the side of the head that is experiencing pain.
  7. Sweat on the forehead and face appears.
  8. The skin around the face becomes pale.
  9. The eyelids go down.
  10. Pupils shrink.
Although cluster headaches often attack suddenly, some of these symptoms can appear before increased pain attacks. The appearance of the above symptoms is a warning for sufferers before the cluster headaches reach the peak of pain. During the cluster period, patients can experience the following: 
  1. Headaches that occur almost every day, with a duration of 15 minutes to 3 hours.
  2. Headaches can appear several times a day.
  3. Headaches often appear at night, usually around 1-2 hours after sleep.
  4. Headaches can appear and disappear suddenly. After the headache attack ends, most people will not feel pain again, but will experience fatigue.
  5. Being restless and uneasy.
  6. Do not want to rest and prefer to move around.
  7. Screaming in pain.
Seek medical attention immediately if someone experiences the following:

  1. Severe headaches that appear suddenly.
  2. Severe headaches are accompanied by nausea, vomiting, neck pain, mental disorders, convulsions, stiffness, or speech difficulties that show symptoms of certain diseases such as stroke or meningitis.
  3. Headaches that appear after injury, especially if headaches get worse.
  4. Headaches that get worse after days and have a pattern that changes.

Cluster headaches treatment.

What are my treatment options for cluster headaches?

Although there is no cure for cluster headaches, this disease can be prevented. The main purpose of treatment of cluster headaches is to reduce pain, reduce the duration of appearance of headaches, and prevent the appearance of headaches. Certain medicines can prevent headaches. Following are some treatment options for cluster headaches:
  1. For stubborn headaches (which occur even with preventive medications), breathing pure oxygen can relieve symptoms. Your doctor can prescribe oxygen therapy for home use if stubborn headaches often occur.
  2. If headaches occur occasionally, you can take medications such as the drug triptan, verapamil, or ethylprednisolone steroids.
  3. Other drugs recommended by the doctor.
Some lifestyle changes and home remedies to overcome cluster headaches are:

  1. Keep your sleep schedule to remain sufficient and regular
  2. Use drugs that have been prescribed by a doctor
  3. Always consult your doctor to find out about your health

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