How Long Do Cluster Headaches Last?

Cluster headache is type of headache that usually affects one portion of the head. It generally occurs in a cyclic pattern or clusters with pain experienced behind the eyes and along the temple. Cluster headache is usually associated with severe type of pain with a "drilling" type of sensation. These headaches are often accompanied by other symptoms such as tearing of the eyes, redness over the conjunctiva, stuffiness in nose, droopy eyes, excessive sweating predominantly over one side of the face, change in pupil size (the pupil of the affected side becomes smaller in size) etc. It has been noticed that Cluster headache lasts from 15 minutes to 3 hours at times and can occur at a frequency of 8 times a day. Episodic cluster headaches are those that occur in clusters that lasts anywhere for a period of week to couple of months. Chronic cluster headaches are the one that are present for a period extending more than a year without remission or could last less than 2 weeks with remission. (Also Read About "The Difference Between Tension Headache and Cluster Headache")

Cluster headache is a rare condition and not life threatening. With further treatment, the duration of cluster headache attacks tend to get shorter and more under control. Medications often help is reducing the frequency of such headaches. Individuals affected by cluster headache often pace up and down or tend to sit and rock back and forth. It may or may not be accompanied by migraine like symptoms such as photosensitivity but only on the affected side.

Apart from pain medications, oxygen therapy, and surgery, cluster headache can also be treated with natural treatment.

How Long Do Cluster Headaches Last?

Natural Treatment to Get Rid of Cluster Headache

Recently with popularisation of alternative medications and natural treatments, similar treatment modalities have been found for management of cluster headache. These options include:

Melatonin to Treat Cluster Headache Naturally:

It has been noted that individuals with cluster headache have low levels of melatonin in their body. Melatonin is a hormone that is produced in the body for regulating sleep-wake cycle. It has been observed that incidence of cluster headache reduce upon taking melatonin. However, a lot of studies are being carried out and scientists are yet to confirm the benefits of melatonin supplements in management of cluster headache.

Capsaicin:

Capsaicin is an active ingredient in hot peppers along with a lot of medical benefits. Regular intake of capsaicin helps in prevention of cluster headache attacks and also in getting rid of it naturally. It is generally available in the form of nasal sprays. It helps is reducing substance P level which is a chemical found in the nervous system, that is generally involved in pain transmission.

Mind Body Stress Relief for Cluster Headache:

It has been noticed that reduction in stress often helps not only in controlling cluster headache but also in getting rid of it. Yoga and meditation helps in relaxation and calming the body. The exact mechanism of these activities is not known and studies are being carried in view of the same.

Magnesium:

People with low magnesium levels are often found be experience cluster headache. Thus, foods rich in magnesium and magnesium supplements are advised to control and get rid of cluster headache naturally.

Vitamin B2 to Get Rid of Cluster Headache:

Deficiency in vitamin B2 leads to nerve damage and inflammation. This increases the risk of cluster headache. Thus, vitamin B2 supplements can be an excellent naturally remedy that helps in reducing the chances of cluster headache.

Kudzu Extracts:

Research shows that extract from kudzu plant, a semi-woody, perennial, leguminous vine helps in reducing the frequency, intensity and duration of cluster headaches.

Exercises: An Effective Natural Remedy to get Rid of Cluster Headache:

Daily exercises and deep breathing exercises helps in relaxing the mind and body and also increases blood circulation in the body. This in turn helps in reducing cluster headache.

Sleep Routine:

People suffering from cluster headache are advised to follow a fixed sleep routine to avoid the onset of headache.

Use of Peppermint Oil for Cluster Headache:

Peppermint oil is known to reduce headache and body ache, relaxing tighter muscles and also improve attention and focus. During an onset of cluster headache and even after the attack, apply 2-3 drops of peppermint oil in the temple region, back of neck as well as bottom of feet to get relief from it naturally.

Ginger Tea:

Gingerol, a bioactive ingredient in ginger, helps in reducing pain when consumed during cluster headache attacks. It also helps in reducing nausea. One can drink ginger tea 2-3 times to reduce the intensity of cluster headache symptoms in a natural way.

Stop Alcohol and Tobacco:

Alcohol and tobacco consumption increases the frequency of cluster headache. Hence, one must avoid the consumption of both these substances not just for cluster headache but for overall good health.

Conclusion

Cluster headache is a type of headache that usually affects one side of the head and is associated with episodes of severe, excruciating headache. It is usually managed with medications, oxygen therapy and injections. In severe cases, surgical intervention may be considered. However, it has been seen that certain non-conventional treatment can also help in management of pain. These include certain natural medications and alternative medications. However, most of these options are still under research, and thus should be considered with precaution and taken under medical supervision. Natural treatments are not alternative to conventional medications. If cluster headache is left untreated, it can worsen over a period of time and thus should be treated at the earliest.

Also Read:

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: July 8, 2017

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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