If you’ve ever had a migraine, you’d be grateful to suffer that pain instead of the pain caused by a cluster headache. A cluster headache comes as a sharp stabbing pain in the region of one of your eyes and can last anywhere between 15 minutes to three hours. They are so painful that they are called suicide headaches because people who have these headaches have been known to kill themselves just to get rid of the pain.
Signs and symptoms
Migraines and cluster headaches tend to differ in how they manifest. While people who have migraines usually experience nausea and photosensitivity, a person with a cluster headache usually feels it on only one side of the head and it affects the eye as well. Here are other differences between the two, as evaluated by Las Vegas pain management:
Frequency of attacks
A cluster headache may occur from one time to six times a day, while a migraine can occur as many as ten times in a single month.
Duration of the attacks
A cluster headache may last between half an hour to three hours long, while a migraine can last anywhere between four hours to three whole days.
Location of the attack
A cluster headache usually occurs on just one side of the head. It starts around the eyes, moves to the forehead, temple, nose, cheek, or upper gum. In the case of a migraine, the pain can occur either on one side of the head or on both sides of the head.
Time of the attack
Cluster headaches usually occur at the same time each day, thus being called “alarm clock headaches,”, whereas a migraine is more random in its occurrence.
Age of onset
A cluster headache usually manifests in adults aged 20 years or older, whereas a migraine can occur in people of all ages.
Gender of the sufferer
Cluster headaches are mainly seen in males, while migraines mostly occur in females.
Patient’s reaction to the pain
The pain caused by a cluster headache is usually extreme and can be so bad that a person who has it cannot sit still and perform normal activities, whereas a person with a migraine usually feels better if they lie down until the pain goes away.
Nausea and vomiting
2 – 5% of people with a cluster headache exhibit signs of nausea and vomiting, whereas 85% of those with a migraine tend to vomit.
70% of people with a cluster headache tend to also show signs of a runny nose, or some sort of nasal discharge, whereas a person with a migraine does not usually have this symptom.
Blurred vision is uncommon in anyone with a cluster headache but is commonly seen in anyone suffering from a migraine.
Only 7% of people suffering from a cluster headache had a family history of cluster headaches. On the other hand, 90% of sufferers of migraines have a family history of its occurrence.
Your local Las Vegas pain management clinic can help you understand if what you are suffering from is a migraine or a cluster headache, so visit a Las Vegas pain management center today.