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Headache Cluster
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Cluster Headache Treatment in Colorado

Let’s Find Out What’s Causing Your Headaches

Cluster headache (CH) is a primary headache disorder in which the individual is subjected to numerous headaches over the course of several days, weeks, or months. The term cluster headache originates from the tendency of attacks to cluster together. Cluster headaches often occur around the same time each year. Most people will experience remission from their cluster headaches for several months, but roughly ten percent of patients suffer from chronic cluster headaches which strike year round without any break.

Symptoms

When it comes to headaches, patient input is key to making an accurate diagnosis. We need to know how often your attacks occur, where in the head you experience pain, and any accompanying symptoms you may experience during, before, or after the headache. Cluster headaches are frequently misdiagnosed, so if you believe you are suffering from this type of headache it is important that you familiarize yourself with the symptoms and inform your doctor of any that you experience.

Look out for the following to help your doctor diagnose a cluster headache:

  • The headache occurs on one side of your head
  • Pain occurs around or behind the eye or radiates along the forehead
  • You have a running nose during the headache
  • Moving does not increase pain during the headache
  • Attacks occur frequently throughout the day for several days in a row

Please note that these symptoms apply to most, but not all cases. You may be dealing with cluster headaches even if your pain occurs in different areas of the head or without pain in the eye area.

Why They Occur

The exact reason why these headaches occur is unknown, but we have identified certain factors that seem to stimulate them. As many people experience cluster headaches around the same time each year, seasonal changes seem to play some role in these types of headaches for most people. Once the cluster headache cycle has started, consuming alcohol often stimulates another attack. Increased stress can also result in more headaches, as can smoking.

Treatment

Your cluster headache treatment at the Interventional Headache Center of Colorado will focus on relieving pain from headache attacks and preventing them from occurring in the future. Oxygen therapy, wherein the patient breathes in oxygen from a machine for 20 minutes. Medications and nasal sprays can also be effective. To prevent future headaches, we may prescribe steroid medications to help with the pain and frequency of attacks. These medications are intended for short-term use and should only be used exactly as prescribed.