Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Summer season springs cluster headaches into action

Date:
June 13, 2014
Source:
Montefiore Medical Center
Summary:
Did you know that while most people celebrate the start of summer on June 21, nearly 1 million Americans are facing the debilitating pain of cluster headaches due to Earth's shift towards the sun? It's true. The human biological rhythm is tied into earth's rotation, making individuals who suffer cluster from headaches encounter unrelenting head pain.

Did you know that while most people celebrate the start of summer on June 21, nearly 1 million Americans are facing the debilitating pain of cluster headaches due to Earth's shift towards the sun? It's true. The human biological rhythm is tied into earth's rotation, making individuals who suffer cluster from headaches encounter unrelenting head pain.

As the name suggests, cluster headaches occur close in proximity and often throughout a day, on average, lasting 30 minutes to three hours. In about 80% of people with cluster headache, head pain lasts for up to 12 weeks each year -- most often occurring during seasonal changes. Cluster headache may be accompanied by symptoms such as eye watering or swelling or nasal congestion on the side of the head experiencing pain. Men are up to four times more likely to develop cluster headache than females, which contradicts migraine tendencies.

"Cluster headache, also known as 'suicide headache,' is a neurological disorder characterized by severe pain behind or around one's eye," said Brian M. Grosberg, M.D., director, Montefiore Headache Center and associate professor, Clinical Neurology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. "It is one of the most painful conditions a person can experience, even more incapacitating than a migraine. When patients come in with a cluster headache, they often share how it impacts their personal and professional lives and how the sensation is so severe they feel at the end of their rope."

The Montefiore Headache Center was the first center in the world to focus exclusively on diagnosis and treatment of headache disorders. Through ongoing work in this area, experts have found that seasonality associated with cluster headache has led to the condition often being misdiagnosed as sinus headache. To help improve diagnoses and encourage collaboration between patients and healthcare specialists, the Center encourages headache sufferers to record headache details in a diary or log.

"I infrequently get a headache, however, during the longest and shortest days of the year, the left side of my face would contort and I would be in severe pain," said Robert Drain, a former firefighter, who lives in Yonkers. "I would find myself walking in circles; it was almost like I was trying to run away from the agony. By tracking my headaches in a log, Dr. Grosberg and I were able to figure out that I was experiencing cluster headaches."

For those who suffer from cluster headache and wish to prevent onset of symptoms and help minimize severity of headache pain, Dr. Grosberg recommends the following:

  • Avoid drinking alcohol or smoking during cluster headache periods.
  • Consider taking the hormone melatonin. It can help regulate sleep-wake cycles and restore imbalances in the body that might be related to cluster headache.
  • Consider the use of breathing in 100% (pure) oxygen for 10-15 minutes to treat an attack of cluster headache. Studies have found that high-flow oxygen inhalation therapy can help relieve cluster headache symptoms within a short period of time.
  • Ask your doctor about prescription medications. Calcium-channel blockers like Verapamil, which is often used to treat high blood pressure, and Imitrex, which is offered as an injectable medication, can be effective in cluster headache pain relief.
  • Speak with a headache specialist about different remedies. Cluster headache can take a lot of trial and error so it is important to have honest and open dialogue with physicians.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Montefiore Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Montefiore Medical Center. "Summer season springs cluster headaches into action." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140613130503.htm>.
Montefiore Medical Center. (2014, June 13). Summer season springs cluster headaches into action. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140613130503.htm
Montefiore Medical Center. "Summer season springs cluster headaches into action." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140613130503.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) Breeze, a portable breathalyzer, gets you home safely by instantly showing your blood alcohol content, and with one tap, lets you call an Uber, a cab or a friend from your contact list to pick you up. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) A new study says the season you're born in can determine your temperament — and one season has a surprising outcome. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Movies Might Desensitize Violence For Parents, Not Just Kids

Movies Might Desensitize Violence For Parents, Not Just Kids

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) A study suggests that parents become desensitized to violent movies as well as children, which leads them to allow their kids to view violent films. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins