Cluster Headache: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 12/2/2019

Cluster headaches are headaches that typically cause severe pain and occur on one side of the head, often around or behind the eye. The pain occurs in cyclic patterns referred to as clusters. Overall, cluster headaches are not as common as other types of headaches. Cluster headaches affect men more often than women.

Signs and symptoms of cluster headaches include severe pain on one side of the head around the eye. The pain may radiate into the forehead, jaw, gum line, or into the teeth. Other associated symptoms and signs can include

Cause of cluster headaches

Doctors do not understand the exact cause of cluster headaches.

Other cluster headache symptoms and signs

  • Droopy Eyelids
  • Excessive Tearing of the Eye
  • Eyelid Swelling
  • Pain That Radiates to the Forehead, Teeth, Gum Line, or Jaw
  • Red Eyes
  • Runny Nose
  • Severe Pain on One Side of the Head Around the Eye


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Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.