Cluster headache is another major headache disorder that causes pain on one side of the head. While a headache feels like a pain inside the brain, it isn't. In fact, the brain does not have pain receptors, so it can't even feel pain. Most headaches begin in the pain-sensitive nerves of the muscles and blood vessels that surround the head, neck, and face.
They can be triggered by stress, muscle tension, allergens, lack of sleep, dehydration, and many other things. Different triggers create different types of pain and symptoms. If you have a headache, its location in the head can help you determine its cause. This is because different types of headache are known to affect certain parts of the brain.
Cluster headaches usually occur at night and tend to come back at the same time every day. Your doctor may also be able to connect you with support groups, give you medication, or arrange oxygen therapy, which has been shown to help reduce the number of cluster headaches. Green, MD, spokesman for the National Headache Foundation and director of pain and headache medicine at Icahn School of Medicine in Mount Sinai, New York City. The most common type of headache, a tension headache, usually starts later in the day and lasts at least half an hour.
The key to treating a headache is understanding what type it has, what triggers it, and addressing that specific problem. Sinus headaches are usually a symptom of a sinus infection, and this type of infection is usually bacterial. However, there are also subtle differences in the location of the headache and other symptoms that can help distinguish one type of pain from another. Cluster headaches are so named because they tend to occur daily for periods of a week or more, followed by prolonged periods, months to years, without headaches.
The hypothalamus, an area located at the base of the brain, is responsible for the body's biological clock and can be the source of this type of headache. If you experience pain at the base of the skull that radiates upward, it could be due to a rare type of chronic headache called occipital neuralgia. Cluster headaches occur in spurts or “flare-ups”, where you may have regular headaches for a few weeks or months and then none for some time. Cluster headaches are rarer than migraines and tension headaches, but they tend to occur in a certain location.
Knowing what type of headache you have is critical to finding relief and potentially preventing them in the future. Cluster headaches are a less common type of primary headache, affecting less than 1 in 1,000 adults, according to WHO. If you experience headaches that radiate from your neck to the back of your head, you may have a cervicogenic headache. Provoked by overuse of medications, rebound headaches can trigger a vicious cycle of headaches caused by the drug intended to treat them.
Tension headaches are painful and patients may be upset because the diagnosis is just a tension headache. If you have a headache that could be described as the “worst headache of your life” or a “feeling of thunder,” you could be experiencing a stroke, a brain aneurysm, or a brain hemorrhage and you should call 911 immediately.