A cluster headache usually strikes without warning and is similar to a migraine headache or other acute headache. The most common symptom includes an excruciating pain normally behind or around one eye that radiates around the face, head and neck. Other symptoms include a runny nose, pale skin, eye swelling, eye tearing, dropping eyelid, and sensitivity to light and sound. Cluster headaches generally are not associated with a trigger, like foods or stress, like tension headaches. Some risk factors that may cause cluster headaches include sex, age, smoking, family history and alcohol use. In the event that you are experiencing more severe symptoms or symptoms are worsening, it is important to see a doctor.
It is important to see a doctor if you are experiencing cluster headache symptoms to rule out other disorders and to find an effective treatment to reduce and eliminate the pain. The best way to start to treat a headache at home is to try rapid-acting pain relievers. This may help to dull the pain if not eliminate it in some cases. Cluster headaches in most cases can be successfully treated by an individualized acute and preventative drug treatment. Preventative medication like verapamil and sumatriptan are among the most effective acute therapeutic options. If the medications proves ineffective, the next step to consider is a surgical solution.