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Cluster Headache

Cluster Headache Overview

Cluster headache is far less common than migraine headache or tension headache. Cluster headaches begin far more dramatically, however, and remain quite unique in their course over time.

As the name suggests, the cluster headache exhibits a clustering of painful attacks over a period of many weeks. The pain of a cluster headache peaks in about 5 minutes and may last for an hour. Someone with a cluster headache may get several headaches a day for weeks at a time - perhaps months - usually interrupted by a pain-free period of variable length.

In contrast to people with migraine headache, perhaps 5-8 times as many men as women have cluster headache. Most people get their first cluster headache at age 25 years, although they may experience their first attacks in their teens to early 50s.

You can get 2 types of cluster headache:

  • Episodic: This type is more common. You may have 2 or 3 headaches a day for about 2 months and not experience another headache for a year. The pattern then will repeat itself.

  • Chronic: The chronic type behaves similarly but, unfortunately, you get no period of untreated sustained relief.

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Cluster Headache »

Cluster headache (CH) is an idiopathic syndrome consisting of recurrent brief attacks of sudden, severe, unilateral periorbital pain.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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