What is the Most Common Cluster Headache Treatment?

The first cluster headache treatment advised by doctors is usually a preventative approach. When someone suffers from cluster headaches, doctors often urge them to avoid certain foods that are known to trigger them along with alcohol and cigarettes. When dealing with the pain from a cluster headache, doctors usually use medications called selective serotonin receptor agonists. These would include medicines like Imitrex&reg and Imigran&reg. Another very common cluster headache treatment is the use of pure oxygen therapy, which can often make the headaches go away within minutes.

Regular pain relievers aren’t usually very effective for cluster headache treatment because the headaches have a very short duration, and the medicines take time to act. Most of the treatment approaches for cluster headaches have a much quicker speed, and many of the medicines are injected directly into the bloodstream or taken as nasal sprays. Doctors often have to adjust treatment approaches several times before finding the right answer for a given patient, and some patients may use more than one method in combination.

In extreme situations when nothing else will work, there are some cluster headache treatment surgeries that can help. Most of the surgeries are designed to disrupt the nerve pathways that are causing the pain. Damage that is done to nerves during these surgeries can have unwanted side effects, including facial numbness and weakened jaw muscles.


Most sufferers describe cluster headaches as extremely severe and painful. The pain is usually focused on one side of a person’s head. These headaches happen in a very regular pattern over a period of days at about the same time each day. The cyclic element of clustered attacks is the inspiration for their name. People who suffer from cluster headaches will generally have one or two periods of clustered activity every year, but sometimes the remission and active periods can last for years at a time.

Cluster headache sufferers often describe the pain as a steady burning sensation mixed with an element of sharpness. This pain is usually centered somewhere in the area of one of their eyes, and it can potentially spread through the whole face and down into the shoulders. Many patients have facial swelling on the side where the pain is present, and their nostril on that side may fill with mucus. For some people, there is an accompanying facial flushing, and their eyes may become reddened during an attack.



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