(CH) is a neurological disorder
characterized by recurrent, severe headaches
on one side of the head, typically around the eye.
There are often accompanying autonomic symptoms during the headache such as eye watering, nasal congestion
and swelling of and around the eye, all confined to the side of the head with the pain.
Cluster headache belongs to a group of primary headache disorders, classified as trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias
or (TACs). The condition is named for the demonstrated grouping of headache attacks occurring together (cluster).
Individuals typically experience repeated attacks of excruciatingly severe unilateral headache pain.
CH attacks often occur periodically; spontaneous remissions may interrupt active periods of pain, though about 10-15% of chronic CH never remit.
The cause has not been identified.
While there is no cure, cluster headaches can sometimes be prevented and acute attacks treated. Recommended treatments for acute attack includes oxygen
or a fast acting triptan
Primary recommended prevention is verapamil
. Steroids may be used to prevent a recurrence until verapamil takes effect. The condition affects approximately 0.2% of the general population,
and men are more commonly affected than women, by a ratio of about 2.5:1 to 3.5:1.