At Metro Pain and Vein Centers, our team treats various types of long and short-term pain. This includes rare but excruciating cases of cluster headaches. Cluster headache attacks can have remission periods that can last up to months or even years, but when a cluster period starts, it can result in debilitating pain that can disrupt your daily life.
Cluster headaches are a rare condition, and only one in a thousand people experience it worldwide. However, how we treat one patient with a cluster headache isn’t the same treatment for every patient with cluster headaches. At Metro Pain and Vein Centers, you can seek treatments for this condition with our cluster headache specialists and other pain management experts in our state-of-the-art facilities. Together with our team, you can develop a treatment plan that can minimize the frequency, duration, and intensity of a cluster headache attack. This helps you live more comfortably and uninterrupted from doing your day-to-day tasks.
If you experience symptoms of a chronic headache that’s severely painful or see the signs of a cluster headache incoming, contact Metro Pain and Vein Centers for a consultation. We can provide you with short-term and long-term plans on mitigating the pain and powering through an episode with minimal discomfort.
Cluster headaches are a painful occurrence when you experience sudden intense chronic pain on one side of your head. During a cluster period, you can experience multiple headaches that can last from a few minutes to several hours all in one day. You may also experience other symptoms like nasal congestion and a runny nose.
At best, some patients experience cluster periods that can last for several weeks followed by years of remission where no attacks occur. At worst, a chronic cluster headache can cause frequent attacks in one year followed by remissions as short as one month. You’ll know a cluster period ends when the intensity decreases and then suddenly stops.
Some patients experience a consistent starting date and duration for cluster periods, such as cases where it can start and end on a specific season. Others have episodic cluster headaches, which consist of cluster headaches that can last between one week to one year, followed by up to a year-long remission before another episode begins.
Although some patients experience long periods of remission, untreated cluster headaches can be difficult to live with. It can occur at night and disrupt your sleep, making you feel exhausted during a cluster period. It can also make you feel restless and unable to concentrate on your daily tasks.
The cause of cluster headaches and what triggers them is still inconclusive. Research suggests that cluster headaches are associated with your hypothalamus, which can affect blood flow to your brain and control your biological clock. While there is still no cure to totally stop cluster headaches, Metro Pain and Vein Centers can help you take steps to reduce the frequency of cluster periods as well as the duration and intensity of these attacks.
At Metro Pain and Vein Centers, we use a number of pain management techniques and medication to ease your pain. This includes:
During your consultation, we can see which of the possible solutions are suitable for your conditions. Over-the-counter medication isn’t recommended for treating symptoms of a cluster attack because of its duration and unexpected onset.
It can be difficult to manage cluster periods without a cluster headache specialist or pain management expert. Cluster headaches can start and finish without warning, so over-the-counter pain relievers may not be effective by the time you need it to work. Instead of taking a stance of treating a cluster headache when it arrives, it’s much better to have a plan to treat it before an attack.
At Metro Pain and Vein Centers, our team includes specialists and medical professionals who understand your situation. By working with physicians and pain management experts that develop treatment plans customized to your condition, you can avoid excruciating attacks that prevent you from functioning at your best, especially when you least expect a cluster attack.
If you have seasonal cluster headaches or have noticed a pattern from your cluster headache attacks, you can take preventive steps to suppress your attacks rather than simply minimizing the effects of an attack when it pops up. At Metro Pain and Vein, you can work with a doctor to determine which medicines to block attacks and take them for as long as you need to until the cluster episode ends. Some of these medications include:
A: Using surgery to treat cluster headaches is only suitable for those who cannot tolerate their medications or find drug treatments ineffective. You may have a surgeon cut out your trigeminal nerve or have glycerol injected into your facial nerves to reduce facial pain caused by cluster headaches. However, this can cause eye damage and is usually the last resort if all other options do not work.
A: Both are headaches that can cause severe pain. However, treating a migraine headache is not the same as treating a cluster headache. A migraine can have long warning signs such as visual disturbances before the onset of pain, which can last for several days. On the other hand, cluster headaches start and end without warning and have a shorter duration, but can come in several attacks. Consulting with a cluster headache specialist can help you determine if you are experiencing a migraine or a cluster headache – at Metro Pain and Vein, we can treat all types of headaches.
A: Cluster headaches can happen to anyone, though it usually starts after the age of 20. Cluster headaches are more common in men who smoke, though women and non-smokers also have a chance of developing cluster headaches.
If left untreated, cluster headaches can disrupt your life and ability to function when you least expect it. It’s best to have a treatment plan to manage the pain through short and long-term plans so that you’re ready in case a cluster attack strikes without warning. To deal with severe pain, book a consultation with one of our cluster headache specialists at Metro Pain and Vein Centers today.