What is a cluster headache? What’s the difference between cluster headaches and migraines? For those not afflicted with cluster headaches, the differences may seem trivial, but for many Americans, the answers to these questions are significant and all too familiar.
Cluster headaches occur in cycles, during which the sufferer experiences headaches once or twice a day, sometimes even more frequently. The attacks usually last from 30 to 90 minutes and typically fall within the same time-frame each day. The periods of cluster headaches are sometimes separated by weeks, months, or even years of relief.
The pain of cluster headaches is extreme and has been described as being like a drill boring straight into your head. The pain, which typically radiates from behind one eye and along the temple, is always centered on one side of the face. The eye becomes red and begins tearing up, and oftentimes, the pupil on the affected side becomes noticeably smaller.
Cluster headaches and migraines do share many common characteristics, such as sensitivity to light and sounds. One noteworthy difference, however, is that unlike migraines, cluster headaches do not worsen with movement. When suffering from migraines, most people want to lie still in a dark room. Cluster headaches, on the other hand, are usually accompanied by a sense of extreme restlessness as you wait for the pain to subside.
If you are one of the unfortunate people affected by cluster headaches, you probably already know that there is no real cure. Treatment plans focus primarily on lessening the intensity of pain and shortening the length of the episode. Some options your doctor might suggest include the following:
Oxygen therapy: Breathing 100 percent pure oxygen through a mask has proven to be a safe and effective measure when used at the onset of a headache. This, of course, would require you to carry a small oxygen cylinder with you. While it does give fairly quick relief, it might not be the most practical option when you are out and about.
Local anesthetics: Some doctors suggest using lidocaine to numb the pain and obtain temporary relief.
Corticosteroids: These types of drugs decrease inflammation. Corticosteroids are usually given at the onset of a headache cycle in an attempt to lessen the severity and occurrence of headaches. Corticosteroids can cause serious side effects if used long term but are considered acceptable for short-term use.
Triptans: This is a drug designed to stimulate serotonin to reduce inflammation and constrict blood vessels. Injection is the quickest and most effective way to get triptans into your system; they are also commonly available in nasal spray or tablet form, but may take slightly longer to begin working.
The above solutions are all conventional solutions and as you know at MaximumLifestyles.com, we are all about offering natural solutions. So, we have heard amazing things about the effectiveness of treating Cluster Headaches, migraines, and even general headaches with cannabis, and we’re not talking about marijuana, however, but we are talking about CBD from the cannabis plant. Did you know that legal CBD (Cannabidiol) is also derived from the Hemp plant? Many don’t know this but it is just as effective as CBD from marijuana but contains no THC or psychoactive ingredients. Because of this CBD from hemp is legal in all 50 states.
To learn more about CBD from hemp and how it can help with the above-referenced symptoms check out this MaximumLifestyles.com article.
The best thing you can do if you suffer from cluster headaches is to talk to your doctor. Although the pain can seem unbearable at the time, it will eventually subside. By learning ways to lessen the severity and duration of the headaches, you will be able to enjoy a better quality of life.