Guest Author - Lisa Shea
Cluster headaches are headaches that hit in groups and normally feel like sharp, stabbing sensations around the eyes. Here is more information on cluster headaches and how to prevent them.
While cluster headaches are most frequently felt in the middle of the night, they can happen at any time of day or night. They can happen multiples times in a day, and for multiple days in a row. They can even strike yearly, during a particular season.
Interestingly, while many headaches can be traced to known causes - a reaction to a type of food, or a stressful event - with cluster headaches science is still figuring out what causes them. Current research seems to indicate that something is happening within the hypothalamus, but doctors aren't sure what. That makes it very hard on the person suffering to "do" anything about it. Their body is simply on a cycle and headaches are a part of that cycle.
It does seem that smoking and alcohol use can exacerbate cluster headaches, so if you suffer from them, it could help to reduce or remove both of those triggers from your life.
It also seems that, because the hypothalamus is involved, that getting ample, regular sleep on a schedule can assist greatly. So it's important to make this a priority in your life. This will help not only with the cluster headaches but with all of life in general.
If you are suffering from cluster headaches, it's important to talk with a doctor about them. There are a number of medications that doctors can try out in order to deal with the cluster headaches, especially if you are able to document a pattern and know when they tend to strike. That way the doctor can prescribe medication during that time and have you ready to take it to prepare. It's key that you have your headaches well documented to help with this. Keep a log of exactly when they begin and end, so that the doctor can plan out your course of medication.
Hopefully as research goes forward, doctors will learn more about exactly what causes cluster headaches, and find more effective solutions.