Cluster headache is a type of headache disorder characterized by recurrent, severe headaches on one side of the head. These headaches often come in "clusters," meaning that they occur several times a day for several weeks or months and then subside for a period of time before returning.
The pain associated with cluster headaches is often described as intense, sharp, or burning and can be accompanied by other symptoms such as redness or tearing of the eye, runny or congested nose, and sweating on the affected side of the face.
The exact cause of cluster headaches is not fully understood, but some factors that may contribute to the development of these headaches include genetic factors, changes in circadian rhythms, and abnormalities in the hypothalamus, a part of the brain that regulates functions such as sleep, hunger, and thirst.
Cluster headaches are characterized by several specific symptoms that can help differentiate them from other types of headaches. Some common symptoms of cluster headaches include:
Severe pain: The pain associated with cluster headaches is usually intense and located on one side of the head, often behind or around the eye.
One-sided location: Cluster headaches are almost always felt on one side of the head.
Rapid onset: The pain of a cluster headache comes on quickly, often within 5 to 10 minutes.
Short duration: While the pain of a cluster headache can be severe, it usually lasts only for 15 minutes to 3 hours.
Recurrent attacks: Cluster headaches often occur in clusters, with several attacks happening daily for several weeks to months, followed by a period of remission.
Autonomic symptoms: Cluster headaches are often accompanied by other symptoms on the same side of the head as the pain, including redness or tearing of the eye, runny or congested nose, and sweating.
Timing: Cluster headaches often occur at the same time each day, often in the early morning or late e