MedClinic > Blog > Algology > Cluster headache


Cluster headache – severe pain in the head. This is a disease that occurs in a chronic form.

Causes of cluster headache – despite a large number of studies, the cause remains unclear. It is believed that the rhythmic occurrence of periods of pain is associated with the activity of the hypothalamus, an area of ​​the brain called the “biological clock” that determines biological and circadian rhythms in the body. The theory of biological clocks has arisen in part due to the cyclical nature of these headaches and the fact that they occur at the same time during the cycle.

Signs of pathology

Symptoms of cluster headache:

  • a flash of light in the eyes;
  • sudden onset of pain;
  • the pain is burning, piercing, sharp in nature;
  • in some cases, pain radiates to the ear, temporal region, lower jaw;
  • duration of attacks is from 15 minutes up to several hours;
  • redness of the eyes, lacrimation;
  • vegetative symptoms of headache – increased sweating, nasal congestion, pallor, nausea.

Cluster pain, having arisen once, will not go anywhere else. Chronic headaches occur suddenly, can last from several minutes to two-three days, sometimes weeks. After the cessation of pain, a period of remission sets in, which can last up to six months.

Common symptoms of a cluster pain attack:

  • increased salivation;
  • temporary decrease in vision;
  • increased pain on the lips, eyes.

Cluster pain worsens the general condition of a patient and his emotional background. Apathy, depressive state add on.

Diagnostic of the disease

Methods for diagnosing cluster pain: examination, studying a medical history, complaints. To determine the exact location of pain, palpation is performed. Additional diagnostic methods – MRI, CT are performed to clarify the causes of cluster pain.

Treatment of the disease

Treatment of cluster headache begins with the relief of the root cause of the disease. If the diseases that caused cluster pain are not corrected, treatment can only remove the symptoms of the disease that will return immediately after its termination.

Cluster pain is a disease that occurs only in the chronic stage, and it is not possible to completely cure it. Drug therapy is aimed at stopping pain and reducing the intensity of the manifestation of the symptomatic picture.

Physiotherapy procedures are used, in particular, conducting oxygen sessions aimed at normalising blood circulation. To reduce the number of headache attacks, medicines are prescribed, which include calcium carbonate. It is necessary to take drugs not only during attacks of pain but also during their absence.

An effective result in the treatment of a cluster headache is given by corticosteroids, but because of the high probability of side symptoms, they are taken in short courses. With a cluster headache, it is forbidden to smoke and drink alcohol. If possible, the patient needs to relax as much as possible, reduce brain activity.