Headaches

How to Get Rid of Cluster Headaches

Everyone is familiar with migraines, or prolonged headache that can last for hours. If you experience short bursts or intense headache, what you have might not be migraine, but cluster headache. The name itself tells you how it it: it occurs in clusters, in one particular spot on the head. If you think you have this problem here are several ways to solve it.

Symptoms Of Cluster Headaches

If you’re not sure whether you have cluster headache or not, here are several common symptoms you should watch for.

  • Sudden pain reaching peak intensity in 5 to 10 minutes
  • Pain lasts less than an hour
  • Only felt in one spot on the head, usually behind the eye or at the temple
  • Congestion
  • Droopy eyelids
  • Sweating
  • Watery eyes

Oxygen Treatment

This is one of the most successful ways to treat cluster headache. It’s best used at the onset of the condition. When oxygen is delivered in time, it shows effectiveness in reducing the duration and severity of cluster headache. It can also help prevent one from occurring. If used after the onset of the headache, though, oxygen shows very little abortive or restorative effect on patients.

Use Medications

There are various prescription drugs that can effectively solve cluster headaches. If you think there’s already a need to turn to these medications, consult your doctor so he can provide you with one that will effectively solve your dilemma.

  • Lidocaine – This drug, which comes in a mist form and is inhaled and administered through the nose shows effects on cluster headache pain. It isn’t recommended for long-term application, though, as it has give several side effects.
  • Melatonin – This supplement shows effect in the onset and duration of the cluster headache. This hormone is responsible for regulating sleeping patterns, so it will give effects such as drowsiness and sleepiness.

Other known medication for cluster headaches are Sumatriptan (injected under the skin), Ergotamine and DHE. To prevent this condition, lithium carbonate, verapamil, divalproex, baclofen and methysergide can be used.

Take A Cold Shower

Although they cannot completely treat cluster headaches, cold showers are said to reduce the pain brought by this problem. Every time you feel the condition arising, take a cold bath. When combined with the other methods, this will completely banish the unpleasant headache dilemma.

Have A Sleeping Routine

People who don’t have fixed or regular sleeping patterns and schedules experience cluster headaches worse than those who have. If you think you are prone to irregular sleeping habits, try and correct them. Set your alarm the same time everyday, even on weekends. Less or too much sleep don’t help improve the condition. Also, avoid ingesting caffeine before bedtime. This can worsen the headache.

Try Home Remedies

Medications can cost too much, so to make sure they are as effective as they can be, you can include simple home remedies to treat the headache. Here are some easy ideas you can try.

  • Exercise – It helps you cope with the pain associated with cluster headache and also releases endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers. Include a few simple exercise programs in your daily routine, such as brisk walking. Don’t overdo it, though, or you might worsen your problem.
  • Aromatherapy – Use essential oils and scents, whether as soap or as candles. Aromas such as sandlewood, eucalyptus, peppermint and lavender are said to be effective against headaches. Make sure you use a trusted aromatherapy brand, though, because cheap ones can only worsen your problem.
  • Massage – When used with aromatherapy oils, this will work great. Ask someone to kneed at the back of your neck and across your shoulders. Then, tell them to press on the skull’s base using their fingers, then release slowly. Repeat this a few more times. If you’re by yourself, use your fingers and rotate it over your scalp.
  • Herbal Remedies – Willow, cayenne, passionflower, ginko biloba and feverfew are said to be effective in diminishing headaches. (For more information on herbal remedies, read Healing Herbs)

Opt For Surgical Treatment

For permanently treating cluster headache, you can undergo surgical treatment. You’ll need to ask your doctor as to what options are available for your condition. One example is removing the nerve that sends pain signals. Surgery is very promising, but can have side effects. It can also be very costly.

Consult Your Doctor

If you think that your condition is worsening, you should consult your physician. Perhaps the headache is a symptom of another health condition, or maybe you need to change medications or lifestyle practices.

Preventing Cluster Headache

  • Magnesium supplements are said to be effective against cluster headaches.
  • Make sure you only take in the advised dosage given by your physician, otherwise you might experience rebound headaches or side effects. Drug dependency can also occur.
  • Avoid hot showers. The more elevated the body temperature, the more cluster headaches occur.
  • Avoid ingesting processed meat and aged cheese. These are linked to cluster headaches.
  • Don’t stress too much.
  • Lessen alcohol intake and smoking.

Painful cluster headaches can hinder productivity and ruin a good day. Try any of these methods, and find out which one works best for your condition. For more information regarding this article, read how to cure a headache naturally.

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Nicole Harding

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