Common Specialities
Common Issues
Common Treatments

Common Reasons Behind Cluster Headaches!

Written and reviewed by
MBBS, MS - General Surgery, MCh - Neurosurgery
Neurosurgeon, Guwahati  •  21 years experience
Common Reasons Behind Cluster Headaches!

Cluster headaches are referred to as a series of headaches that are extremely painful. These episodes of pain are generally of a short duration and can happen on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Most importantly, these headaches occur at a particular time of each year because these headaches are seasonal in nature. This is the main reason that many people often mistake this cluster headache for the signs and symptoms of allergies or stress. The cluster headaches can be more severe than an attack of a migraine but they do not last long usually. An individual who is suffering from this problem can wake up in the middle of the night because of the intense pain. This typically occurs at a particular time each of the night.

Signs and Symptoms of Cluster Headaches

  • It is essential to identify the signs and symptoms of any disease for the proper diagnosis, and it is same for cluster headaches as well. If the symptoms are correctly identified, then an effective treatment will prevent the further worsening of the condition.
  • The primary symptom is that the pain remains particularly on one single side of the head. The pain might be sharp, penetrating and might create a burning sensation. Then you might simply become restless with the pain. The side affected with the pain turns the eye tearful and watery.
  • There might be a pain in that particular eye as well accompanied with a swelling around the eye. The eye might even turn reddish too. This condition also the affects the nose making it stuffy, blocked or runny on the side of the pain. The pupil of the eye may shrink, and the face appears to be sweaty.

Causes of cluster headaches

  • The experts are still not hundred percent sure about the causes of cluster headaches. It is identified that a great deal of hyperactivity of the hypothalamus of the brain can cause cluster headaches.
  • The hypothalamus is the part of the brain that helps in the controlling of the temperature of the body, thirst, and hunger.
  • A cluster headache is caused due to the release of certain chemicals from the hypothalamus which causes the blood vessels to widen resulting in an increased flow of blood to the brain.

The periodical nature of a headache is due to the linkage of the biological clock that is located in the hypothalamus. The unusual level of hormones melatonin and cortisol is one of the causes of a cluster headache. Consumption of alcohol and smoking can contribute the cause of cluster headaches as well. At the same time, it can be resulting from the side effects of other medication.

Hence, a proper identification of the cause is necessary for the treatment of a cluster headache.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

1920 people found this helpful