Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Cluster headache

What is cluster headache?

Cluster headache is a type of neurological disease, wherein the affected individual experiences severe and recurrent headaches usually on one side of the head. It is one of the more severe forms of headache and as the name suggests, cluster headaches take place in clusters or in a circular pattern.

What causes cluster headache?

The exact cause of cluster headache is not known. However, abnormalities that occur in the hypothalamus region of the brain are known to play a major role. Men are more prone to suffer from cluster headache than women. Individuals with a family history of this neurological disease are at an increased risk of suffering from the same.

How does cluster headache spread?

Cluster headache is not an infectious disease and it does not spread from one person to another.

What are the symptoms of cluster headache?

Cluster headache occurs without any warning signs. During the attack, individuals experience the following signs and symptoms:
  • Pain only on one side of the head
  • Restlessness
  •  Headache usually centers around one eye and may radiate to other parts such as neck, shoulders, face and head
  • The eye on the affected side becomes red and swollen
  •  Face turns pale
  • Eyelids droop
  •  Nasal passage is either stuffy or runny on the affected side

What is treatment of cluster headache?

Cluster headaches cannot be cured. The goal of the treatment is to reduce the intensity of the pain, shorten the headache span and decrease the frequency of attacks. Fast acting medications form the basis of treatment regime as cluster headaches do not give any warning signals prior to an attack. During the attacks the following medications and therapies should be adhered to:
  • Triptans
  • Anti – inflammatory steroid medications
  • Dihydroergotamine injections
  • Breathing oxygen

In many cases, doctors prescribe medications for preventing an attack. These include: Calcium channel blockers, corticosteroids, lithium carbonate, ergots, melatonin and injecting steroids and anesthetic.

How can cluster headache be prevented?

The very first attack of cluster headache cannot be prevented. However, making necessary changes in your habits can certainly help prevent future attacks. Those in the habit of smoking and drinking alcohol should make conscious efforts to refrain from these. Such change in habits along with preventive medications can go a long way in prevention of cluster headaches.

What are the diet and lifestyle changes in cluster headache?
Making certain changes in lifestyle pattern help avoid an attack of cluster headache. Some of the strategies include:
  • Avoiding alcohol
  • Maintaining a regular sleep schedule, as cluster headache can crop up from an irregular sleep pattern too

What is Ayurvedic treatment for cluster headache?

The science of Ayurveda has some wonder herbs that have proven to be beneficial for treating cluster headache. 

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