Headache - Symptoms

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What are the symptoms of cluster headaches?

Cluster headaches are headaches that come in groups (clusters) separated by pain-free periods of months or years. A patient may experience a headache on a daily basis for weeks or months and then be pain free for years. This type of headache affects males more frequently and often begins in adolescence but can extend to those in middle age.

  • During the period in which the cluster headaches occur, pain typically occurs once or twice daily, but some patients may experience pain more than twice daily.
  • Each episode of pain lasts from 30 to 90 minutes.
  • Attacks tend to occur at about the same time every day and often awaken the patient at night from a sound sleep.
  • The pain typically is excruciating and located around or behind one eye.
  • Some patients describe the pain as feeling like a hot poker in the eye. The affected eye may become red, inflamed, and watery.
  • The nose on the affected side may become congested and runny.

Unlike patients with migraine headaches, patients with cluster headaches tend to be restless. They often pace the floor, bang their heads against a wall, and patients can be driven to desperate measures including contemplating suicide.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: debb, 45-54 Female (Caregiver) Published: May 22

My headache is very strange, it feels like something is moving, like fluid in my head. Then when I rotate my head, it moves. The back of my neck sometimes will get very heavy and painful. I have high blood pressure, but is controlled by HCTZ and Zestril (lisinopril) and my diet is low sodium. I was told that there is calcified in bones in my neck I am not sure what to do anymore.

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Comment from: shark, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: November 20

I have been experiencing headache now since two years, sometimes the symptom is my left eye gets watery. The headache is so massive that I just want to be alone during this time. Despite the fact that I never drink, never smoke, eat lots of fruits and vegetable in my diet, not too fat, this headache never leaves me alone and it had affected my job so much I just want to remain lying on bed every morning as I feel weak and tired every day.

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