Having severe headaches? Do they happen on the same side or around your eye? Let us try to help you!

Here’s some information about Chickenpox and what our qualified GPs can offer to you!

What are Cluster Headaches?

Cluster headaches are excruciating attacks of pain in one side of the head, often felt around the eye.

Cluster headaches are rare. Anyone can get them, but they’re more common in men and tend to start when a person is in their 30s or 40s.

Cluster headaches follow a particular pattern of symptoms. They often occur at the same time each day. For example, people often wake up with a headache within couple of hours of going to sleep.

Initially they may occur everyday for up to 4-12 weeks and then subside into a period of remission (no headaches). Remission often lasts months or years before the headaches start again. 

 

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KEY TIP:

You should avoid drinking alcohol during a cluster headache bout. You should also try to avoid strong smelling chemicals, such as perfume, paint or petrol, which can often trigger an attack.

Causes

The exact cause of cluster headaches isn’t clear, but they’ve been linked to activity in part of the brain called the hypothalamus.

Factors that increase the risk of getting cluster headaches and some triggers include:

  • Drinking alcohol
  • Strong smells
  • Perfume, Paint, Petrol
  • A family history 

People who smoke seem to have a higher risk of getting cluster headaches. Some cases also appear to run in families, which suggests there may be a genetic link.

OTC medication such as Paracetamol usually doesn’t help. General treatment may include sumatriptan injections or zolmitriptan nasal spray. Oxygen therapy may also help with your symptoms.

Symptoms 

The pain is very severe and is often described as a sharp, burning or piercing sensation on one side of the head.

It’s often felt around the eye, temple and sometimes face. It tends to occur on the same side for each attack.

People often feel restless and agitated during an attack because the pain is so intense, and they may react by rocking, pacing, or banging their head against the wall.

At least one of the following associated symptoms is usually present:

  • A red and watering eye 
  • Drooping and swelling of one eyelid
  • A smaller pupil in one eye
  • A sweaty face
  • A blocked or runny nostril

When to see a GP

You should see your GP as soon as possible the first time you experience what you think may be a cluster headache.

Our GPs will ask you about your symptoms and may refer you for tests. Gogodoc GP’s will be able to do the following for you:

  • They may arrange for a brain scan if needed to exclude other conditions. However typically, your symptom history should be enough to make a diagnosis.
  • If you’re diagnosed with cluster headaches, you’ll usually see a specialist, such as a neurologist (a specialist in brain and nerve conditions), to talk about your treatment options.

 

 

 

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