A cluster headache is a rare type of headache but causes the most severe head pain. Yashma Patel, MD, and Wade Steeves, MD, are known as the headache experts at Valley Neurology in Spokane, Washington. They understand the debilitating effects of the cluster headache and work closely with you, designing a plan to reduce the frequency and severity of your head pain conditions. Call the office or schedule an appointment for your cluster headache online today.
A cluster headache is a type of headache that causes the most severe head pain—even more severe than the worst type of migraine. They’re called cluster headaches because the pain occurs in groups.
People with a cluster headache have up to eight head pain episodes, with each episode of pain lasting anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes. The pain may occur around the same time every day and also at night when you’re sleeping. People with cluster headaches at night may find the pain even worse than their daytime pain.
Cluster headaches are a type of trigeminal autonomic cephalgias (TACs), primary headaches that involve the autonomic nervous system in the brain and a branch of the trigeminal nerve.
Cluster headaches cause severe problems that affect one side of the head, usually around the eye. Symptoms usually affect the eye, nose, or skin. People describe cluster headache pain as a burning or piercing sensation.
The pain consistently affects the same side of the head each time. Unlike other types of headaches, rest doesn’t improve the cluster headache. In fact, many people with cluster headaches feel the need to pace when they have pain.
Cluster headaches may also cause eye tearing, congestion, or facial flushing.
Valley Neurology specializes in diagnosing and treating headaches.
There’s no single test for diagnosing cluster headaches, and the neurology experts at Valley Neurology make a diagnosis based on symptoms and ruling out other causes. They review your symptoms and medical history and perform a physical and neurological exam.
They may also run lab work or imaging tests to rule out other conditions that might explain your symptoms. Your provider at Valley Neurology may also request you keep a headache diary to monitor symptoms and look for triggers.
Treatment for cluster headache includes medications to stop the attacks and medications to improve quality of life. Your provider at Valley Neurology works closely with you, creating a plan that works best for you.
Valley Neurology also helps you identify any outside conditions that might trigger your cluster headaches, such as allergies or alcohol.
Find out more about treatment options for cluster headache by calling Valley Neurology or requesting an appointment online today.