Cluster Headache Myths With A Personal Twist
Cluster headaches are a type of primary headache that has been described as the most painful experience a human can go through. The term “cluster” refers to the way these headaches tend to occur in groups or clusters, but the symptoms are much more severe than other types of headaches. Cluster attacks can be so bad that they lead some people to consider suicide or even murder due to their inability to cope with the pain and emotional toll that these awful headaches take on their lives. Despite all this, there’s still a lot of misunderstanding surrounding cluster headache myths—and we’re here with answers! Here are five common myths about cluster headaches with our personal twist…
Myth #1: The name cluster headache is a misnomer.
The name cluster headache is a misnomer. The condition is not a headache; it is a neurological disorder that causes episodic pain in the head and sometimes neck and shoulders. The attacks occur in groups or clusters, which can last anywhere from weeks to months at a time. In addition to being painful, cluster headaches cause sleep disturbance and have been associated with psychiatric disorders such as depression and anxiety.
Myth #2: Occipital nerve stimulation is better than the pill.
Another myth about cluster headaches is that occipital nerve stimulation is better than the pill. If you have ever had a cluster attack, you know how debilitating they are. You can’t think straight or even move your head when the pain takes over your body. Many people don’t realize that there are treatments available for these excruciating headaches and that it doesn’t have to be this way forever.
Occipital nerve stimulation (ONS) is an FDA-approved treatment option for chronic migraine sufferers who do not respond well to other medications or who cannot tolerate side effects associated with these medications. ONS has been shown in several studies to reduce headache frequency and intensity by 50% in some patients after three months of therapy compared with placebo control groups—but it’s not available in Canada yet!
Myth #3: Oxygen works quickly.
Oxygen, like other treatments and lifestyle changes, is not a cure for cluster headaches. It can be effective in the short term but it does not prevent you from having another attack or stop them for good. The same goes for long-term use of oxygen—it’s still not a cure. However, many patients have reported that using oxygen has helped them feel better when they have an attack. Oxygen may also be helpful when used during sleep as you may get more restful sleep with it than without (even if you wake up throughout the night). But again, this doesn’t mean that your cluster headache will go away completely just because you’re using oxygen at night!
Myth #4: Cluster attacks are not associated with autonomic symptoms.
- Myth: Cluster attacks are not associated with autonomic symptoms
The truth is that cluster headaches can cause sweating, nausea, and vomiting. They can also cause pupil dilation, redness and tearing as well as flushing and a feeling of pressure in the head. These are all examples of autonomic symptoms (or symptoms caused by your autonomic nervous system).
Myth #5: Cluster headaches attack people who live well.
People who are living well and doing right by themselves, their families, and the world often experience cluster headaches.
The myth that cluster headaches attack people who live well is false. You can be drunk or hungover, you can be stressed out or worried about money or work; you can have too much fun on a Saturday night and still get a bad migraine on Sunday morning. Cluster headaches are more than just pain—they also come with other symptoms like nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound (sound sensitivity is called phonophobia), mood swings (irritability), memory loss (amnesia), blurred vision (blurred vision), coughing fits, fainting spells…
Despite what you may have heard, there’s no one size fits all cure for cluster headaches, and they’re not just a headache
While they’re often described as “just a headache,” cluster headaches are not just another headache. In fact, they are a neurological disease that affects up to 1 million Americans, 20 percent of which female. Cluster headaches occur on both sides of the face and can be accompanied by tearing or drooping eyelids, eye redness, nasal congestion and sweating in addition to severe pain.
The lack of understanding surrounding cluster headaches has led to many myths and misconceptions about the condition — some of which we’re here to debunk!
If you think you might have cluster headaches, it’s important to go to the doctor right away. There are treatments available that can help reduce the frequency and severity of your attacks. Don’t wait until next week or next month – get help now!