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How To Relieve Cluster Migraines

Treating Cluster Headaches Home Remedies

How to Stop a Cluster Headache INSTANTLY!

Following home remedies and tips may help you to reduce cluster headache.

Avoid exercise: In hot weather, it is suggested by Medical experts to not exercise in hot weather conditions.

Avoid few drugs: Taking nitroglycerin causes blood vessels to dilate, or enlarge and is linked to clustering headache attacks.

Avoid alcohol: When you suffer from cluster headaches avoiding alcohol may reduce the pain.

Quit smoking: Most of the people who suffer from cluster headaches are smokers if you are one of them quit smoking cigarettes.

Maintain proper sleep routine: 8 hours daily sleep is important for headache make a routine and sleep on time.

How To Relieve Cluster Headaches And Migraines

posted: Jan. 31, 2022.

Unknowingly, cluster headaches are among the most common causes of pain among patients seeking migraine relief in Makati City Metro Manila. This happens because many patients confuse their cluster headaches for migraine attacks.

If youre stuck in the same situation and want to learn the difference between the two, our comprehensive discussion below can help you. Hopefully, our guide can help you determine whether you have a migraine attack or a cluster headache and find the best remedy to use.

When Should I See A Doctor For A Cluster Headache

If you suspect you have cluster headaches, reach out to a neurologist or headache specialist to confirm the diagnosis and to exclude other causes that may mimic headache. You do not have to be in the midst of a cluster to be seen by a specialist to be diagnosed.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Everyone gets headaches from time to time, for various reasons. But cluster headaches are no ordinary headaches. If you experience severe headaches in a pattern, talk to your healthcare provider. You could have cluster headaches and can get treatment for this painful condition.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 02/04/2021.


  • Weaver-Agostoni J. Cluster Headache. Am Fam Physician 2013 88:122-128. Accessed 2/1/2021.
  • American Migraine Foundation. Understanding Cluster Headache. Accessed 2/1/2021.
  • Kandel SA, Mandiga P. Cluster Headache. . In: StatPearls . Treasure Island : StatPearls Publishing 2020 Jan-. Accessed 2/1/2021.
  • National Organization of Rare Disorders. Cluster Headache. Accessed 2/1/2021.
  • Wei DY, Yuan Ong JJ, Goadsby PJ. Cluster Headache: Epidemiology, Pathophysiology, Clinical Features, and Diagnosis. Ann Indian Acad Neurol 2018 21:S3-S8. Accessed 2/1/2021.

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Causes Of Cluster Headache

It is still unknown what exactly causes cluster headache, but cluster headache patterns found that abnormalities in the bodys biological clock play a role. As in Tension, migraine headache, cluster headache is not associated with triggers such as hormonal changes, foods, or stress. When the cluster period starts, however, drinking alcohol may quickly trigger a splitting headache.

Risk factors of cluster headache.

  • A family history: If anyone in your family had had cluster headache it is more likely that you will have it too.
  • Alcohol use: if you suffer from cluster headache and if you drink alcohol it will increase your headache.
  • Smoking: Cigarette Smokers get cluster headaches more quickly.
  • Age: People who suffer from cluster headache are between the 20 to 50 age group.
  • Sex: Most of the time men are prone to suffer from cluster headaches.

Cluster Headaches Vs Migraines

Cluster Headache Relief: Tips and Remedies to Feel Better

As we provide migraine relief in Makati City Metro Manila, we hear countless unfortunate stories from our patients. Some only notice their cluster headaches or migraines symptoms for a few months. On the one hand, others have been suffering in silence for years. We also have patients coming from a broad spectrum of age groups. There are school-aged children, young professionals, and seniors.

Notably, most of these patients share a few things in common. First of all, not all of them can confirm right off the bat if they have migraines or cluster headaches. This is because these two health problems share several similarities, including:

  • They usually affect one side of your head

  • They occur in distinct episodes and can have well defined recurring patterns

  • They cause immense pain and discomfort to the affected patient

Meanwhile, you can differentiate these two conditions by spotting the following symptoms:

  • Sensory sensitivity, nausea, and vomiting – Many patients diagnosed with migraine attacks often experience these three symptoms and throbbing headaches that can linger for a few hours.

  • Runny nose and watery eyes Individuals with cluster headaches tend to have these two symptoms instead of nausea or increased sensitivity to sensory stimuli.

  • Presence of aura symptoms or sensory disturbance The American Migraine Foundation reports that aura symptoms like temporary blindness or seeing bright lights are hallmark symptoms of a migraine attack.

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Management Of Cluster Headache

ELLEN BECK, M.D., WILLIAM J. SIEBER, PH.D., and RAÚL TREJO, M.D., University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California

Am Fam Physician. 2005 Feb 15 71:717-724.

Cluster headache, an excruciating, unilateral headache usually accompanied by conjunctival injection and lacrimation, can occur episodically or chronically, and can be difficult to treat. Existing effective treatments may be underused because of underdiagnosis of the syndrome. Oxygen and sumatriptan have been demonstrated to be effective in the acute treatment of cluster headaches. Verapamil has been shown to be effective for prophylaxis. For cluster headache completely refractory to all treatments, surgical modalities and newer interventions such as the implantation of stereotactic electrodes may be useful. Patients should be encouraged to avoid possible triggers such as smoking or alcohol consumption, especially during the cluster period. The intensity of cluster headache pain leads to ethical concerns among researchers over the use of placebo, making randomized controlled trials difficult. As new technology and genetic studies clarify the etiology of cluster headache, it is possible that more specific therapies will emerge.

The first-line treatments for acute cluster headache are oxygen or sumatriptan, or a combination of the two.

Strength of Recommendations

The first-line treatments for acute cluster headache are oxygen or sumatriptan, or a combination of the two.

What Mine And My Husband’s Cluster Attacks Look Like

When my husband has a particularly nasty attack, he isolates himself in our bedroom, but I still hear the screams through the wall. Around 30-40 minutes later, the attack subsides, and I go in to rub his back. This is something we’ve generally worked out over the years but at first? At first, I had no idea what to do. For me, he stabs me with the injection, and I run to the oxygen tank, but it’s not as easy for him because so. Few. Things. Work. Ketamine nasal spray has been a godsend for him the last year, but eventually, it will stop working because cluster headaches evolve and become resistant, especially his type.

Recommended Reading: Migraine Healthline

What Do We Know About Cluster Headaches

Cluster headaches are intensely painful, almost immobilizing headaches. They start suddenly and within 5 minutes youre in tremendous pain, with one-sided pressure around your eye or temple. Short attacks can disappear in as little as 15 minutes. Long ones can last up to 3 hours. The pain can occur anytime, but most often begins a few hours after you fall asleep.

If youre among the 1 in 1,000 Americans who gets them, then you may already know that cluster headaches rank as one of the nations most debilitating chronic pain conditions.

Research reveals they are 5 times more common in men than women. Some sufferers say they live with a recurring pattern: frequent attacks for a period of weeks or even months. Then, suddenly, theyre fine for many days or weeks. These people have episodic cluster headaches. Others live with “chronic” attacks, which strike frequently for a year or more without any periods of relief.

Of course, headache pain is the absolute distinctive symptom of cluster headaches. But attacks can also cause red eyes, tearing, a puffy and drooping eyelid, runny nose, and even facial sweating.

Traveling With Oxygen For Cluster Headaches

How to Treat Cluster Headache

If you need oxygen while flying on an airplane, we have a separate file you can print and take with you that can be accessed using the linked text. Airlines typically reserve oxygen for serious emergencies such as heart attacks or stroke, but there are workarounds to get oxygen from the flight attendant. Its less convenient, but if you travel by train, you can bring your oxygen tanks with you.

Some suppliers will work with you to have oxygen available in places you are traveling to. See, for example, the Oxytravel service at Linde Healthcare.

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Intranasal Lidocaine For Cluster Headache

Lidocaine spray, as a 4% lidocaine solution, has been used since the mid-1980s for cluster headache. I have found it only mildly effective for most patients and almost never adequate by itself. However, intranasal lidocaine does provide sufficient relief to warrant its use. Lidocaine is very safe with minimal side effects. When used in conjunction with ice and one of the first line abortives, the lidocaine spray can add 10 to 30% relief.

I put 4% topical lidocaine in a plastic nasal spray bottle. The patient is then instructed to lie in the supine position, extend their head back 30 to 45 degrees, turn the head toward the side of the pain and spray two or three sprays of the lidocaine intranasally. This may be repeated, but I usually limit the lidocaine sprays to six or eight in a 24-hour period. If the nasal passage is blocked, several drops of 0.5% phenylephrine may be used prior to the lidocaine.

Alternatively to the spray bottle, 1 ml of 4% topical lidocaine may be slowly dropped, via a dropper, into the nostril on the side of the pain. Side effects are minimal and may include numbness in the throat or, rarely, nervousness or tachycardia.

How To Get And Use Oxygen To Treat Your Cluster Headaches

Guest blog by Ashley S. Hattle. You can view this and other posts on her cluster headache blog.

You know you have cluster headaches. It may have taken months or years, but you finally have an official diagnosis. Hopefully, your neurologist or headache specialist already wrote you a prescription for oxygen, but even so, they likely failed to mention its not as simple as breathing in air. You need a special mask, a high-liter flow, at least one big tank, and several small tanks. One of the best resources for correct oxygen use to abort cluster headaches is found at, but an extensive study by Dr. Todd Rozen published in Headache 2010 is an eye-opening resource for how difficult it is for patients to get a prescription, find the right supplies, and use it correctly.

There are five aspects to keep in mind as your doctor writes the prescription and you take it to an oxygen supply store including:

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Essential Oil For Cluster Headache

Essential oils contain anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties which may have a soothing effect on your nerves and help calm your cluster headache.

Warning: Never take essential oils orally for cluster headaches.

Peppermint oil for cluster headache

Peppermint oil a rich composition of menthol that is known to have an analgesic effect on headaches. Peppermint effective properties help to open blocked blood vessels that are known to cause cluster headache.

A 2016 medical study suggested that a solution of around 10% peppermint oil in ethanol can help to treat headaches in adults and as well as children up to 6 years old.

How Long Does Your Headache Last

Best Cures to find Cluster Headaches Relief

The length of time is a big clue.

A cluster headache is brief, but it comes on fast and strong. Itâs sometimes described as âexplosive.â The pain may peak within 10 to 15 minutes and vanish within 15 minutes to 2 hours. It may last longer, but thatâs uncommon.

Migraines tend to build up slowly and last a long time. If left untreated, it can stick around for up to 72 hours. Symptoms can impact daily life, but migraines are considered less intense than a cluster headache.

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Standard Treatment For A Cluster Headache

Cluster headaches cannot be resolved with over-the-counter painkillers.

You can considerably reduce your chances of having a cluster headache episode by avoiding triggers such as alcohol, stress, high altitude, and insufficient sleep.

Your doctor is likely to recommend the following medications or therapies for you to survive through a cluster headache:

  • Sumatriptan injections These work by constricting the blood vessels in the brain that help to block the transit of pain signals. Also used to treat migraines, sumatriptan injections are administered into the skin of the upper arm or thigh, but never into a muscle or vein. Always get these injections under the supervision of a doctor.
  • Oxygen therapy Inhaling pure oxygen can help bring down a cluster headache. A face mask is used to deliver at least 710 liters per minute of oxygen for a short period of 15 minutes. You and your doctor will have to sign a Home Oxygen Order Form if you want a small unit at your house. NOTE: Oxygen in such high concentrations is toxic to the lungs and can scar lung tissue. It must be used for short periods of time only once or twice in a day. In fact, Dr. Bernheimer is of the opinion, The best treatment for quick relief from cluster headaches is oxygen, which is usually administered by a nasal cannula.
  • Nasal sprays Nasal sprays such as lidocaine may provide relief from acute pain induced by a cluster headache.
  • Treatment For Cluster Headache

    There is no cure for cluster headache. Treatment for cluster headache falls into two categories:

    Acute treatment

    The main acute treatments for cluster headache are:

    • Sumatriptan, 6 mg injection provides relief within 15 minutes
    • High flow Oxygen, 100% at 7-15 litres/minute for 15-20 minutes is effective at stopping attacks.
    • Some people who cant tolerate these or find them ineffective may benefit from a triptan nasal spray either sumatriptan or zolmitriptan.

    gammaCore, an electrical device, can be used as an acute or preventive treatment. It is not suitable for everyone.

    Preventive treatment

    Verapamil is the preventive treatment of choice for cluster headache. It can cause abnormal heart rhythms in some people so regular monitoring, by taking a heart tracing is required.

    Besides verapamil, other options include:

    • Greater Occipital Nerve block has been found to be on average 50% effective in cluster headache and often provides relief while finding other long-term treatments.
    • Corticosteroids these can provide short-term relief. They shouldnt be used long-term and are often used while finding other treatments that work.

    Other things that may be effective include lithium, melatonin, and Sphenopalatine Ganglion Stimulation.

    During a cluster bout many people find alcohol and strong smells can trigger an attack, its helpful to avoid these if possible.

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    Associated Symptoms And Signs

    Typically, the affected eye may turn red and swollen and may even present with increased watering.

    This is usually associated with a blocked and stuffy nose in addition to systemic symptoms like nausea and vomiting.

    Memory loss continues to be a cause for concern, although the good news is that this loss is short term and temporary.

    Research On Migraines And Pressure Points

    How are cluster headaches treated?

    Though theres more work to do, a significant body of evidence suggests that acupressure and the stimulation of pressure points can help with migraine. This technique has been shown effective for other types of pain, and studies have demonstrated a myriad of effects, including:

    • Efficacy against primary headaches:A wide-ranging review of research into acupressure for primary headache disorders, including migraine, found some evidence that it can help reduce the frequency, severity, and duration of attacks. However, the authors cautioned that more research is needed, and some of the formative studies were lacking.
    • Effective for nausea: Several studies have found acupressure to be successful in managing nausea associated with migraines. In a study of 40 people who have migraine with aura, wearers of the Seaband experienced significantly less nausea at 30, 60, and 120 minutes after onset.
    • Prevention of attacks: A study of 28 patients with chronic headaches found those who underwent regular acupressure therapy for one month had a lower incidence of attacks than those using muscle-relaxing drugs. This suggests that acupressure can help with migraine pain, though more research is needed.

    Notably, acupuncturewhich involves stimulating the same points as acupressurehas shown efficacy in reducing the incidence and severity of attacks. This suggests that stimulation of pressure points can have utility.

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    Acupressure For Cluster Headache

    Acupressure has been part of Chinese medicine to treat a cluster headache. A 2014 study published in Pain Management nursing confirmed the practice of acupressure as an alternative therapy for patients suffering from chronic headaches and traumatic aches.

    One more Medical study published in the American Journal of Chinese medicine highlighted the effectiveness of acupressure treatment in reducing chronic headache compared with a muscle relaxant treatment. If you are going to do acupressure ensure that it is done by an expert only.

    What You Dont Need For Oxygen For Cluster Headaches

    Weve talked a lot about the basics of what you need to get and use oxygen properly to abort cluster headaches, but there are several things you need to be careful of to make sure youre not getting the wrong equipment including:

    • No oxygen concentrator
    • No nasal cannula
    • Dont smoke while using oxygen or around the tank when its not being used.
    • None of Aunt Nancys essential oils to cure headaches

    Also Check: Common Migraine Meds

    Believe Them When They Say They’re In Pain

    Cluster headache, like other headache disorders such as migraine disease, is an invisible illness. When you see someone groaning in pain, pacing back and forth, and cradling their eye and temple, it’s difficult to comprehend the pain level. Your instinct may be to offer Excedrin, a warm or cold shower, drink more water, and other seemingly helpful anecdotes, but those do nothing for this neurological condition. What they need is some understanding and space .


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