6 Tips To Help Treat Cluster Headaches
Cluster headaches are a type of pain that can be incredibly debilitating. Many people who get them will go to great lengths in order to find relief, including taking unusual medications and seeking out alternative treatments. Because so many people suffer from this condition, there are many different treatment options available. However, finding the right one for you may take some trial and error. In this guide we’ll cover some common treatment options as well as some less conventional ones. We’ll also give you tips on what steps you can take in order to ensure that your doctor has all the information they need in order to come up with a treatment plan that works best for your unique needs
In order to find relief, you must seek out treatment.
For many people, the most effective treatment for cluster headaches is prescription medication. This can be taken in pill form or through an injection.
In order to find relief, you must seek out treatment and try different options until you find one that works for you. With time, patience, and perseverance, you will eventually stop having cluster headaches altogether—but only if you keep trying new treatments until you find one that works!
Try to identify and avoid triggers.
Cluster headaches are episodic, which means they can come and go. It’s important to monitor your triggers to ensure you don’t experience more severe attacks. For example, if you know that stress is one of your cluster headache triggers, then try to keep calm when you feel the first symptoms appear. Work on relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation until the pain subsides.
The following are common factors that trigger cluster headaches:
- Smoking (or second-hand smoke)
- Caffeine intake (e.g., coffee)
Other causes include certain foods like aged cheese and red wine
Try breathing exercises.
- Breathing exercises can help you relax.
- Breathing exercises can help you calm down.
- Breathing exercises can help you sleep.
- Breathing exercises can help you focus and reduce stress and anxiety.
Don’t fall into stress and anxiety.
Stress and anxiety are a normal part of life, but they can exacerbate cluster headaches. Stress is a huge contributor to the pain caused by cluster headaches and it’s important to know that stress isn’t the cause of your condition.
Stress has long been associated with a number of physical ailments including high blood pressure and heart disease. Research also suggests that when people experience stress, their risk for developing depression increases as well. While most cases of depression aren’t caused by stressful events alone—it’s often genetic or hereditary—stress can still affect how severe your condition may be if you already have depression.
According to those who suffer from cluster headaches, one way to avoid this connection between stress and headache attacks is by using relaxation techniques such as meditation or deep breathing exercises during times when your body feels anxious or tense (such as before bedtime).
Try supplemental oxygen.
If you have cluster headaches, oxygen can help relieve the pain. It’s a simple way to increase your blood flow, which dilates blood vessels and helps reduce pressure on nerves in your head. This can ease the pain of a headache or migraine as well as prevent one from coming on in the first place. However, it will not cure cluster headaches entirely; instead, it may just allow you to cope with them until they go away naturally.
If you decide to try supplemental oxygen for your cluster headache symptoms at home or in a hospital setting (inhaling through a mask or nasal cannula), consult with your doctor before starting treatment so that he or she can ensure that this treatment is safe for you personally.
Consider preventative medications.
Cluster headaches are episodic. This means that they come and go, alternating between periods of pain and remission. However, some people don’t experience remission at all—in these cases, they might need to take preventative medications (medications taken daily to prevent a headache) for the rest of their lives. In other cases, some people only need to take their medication on an as-needed basis during cluster periods; this is known as “symptomatic” treatment and often involves taking regular doses of antidepressants or triptans (a class of drugs used to treat migraines).
Ask your doctor about triptans.
Treatment options for cluster headaches include:
- Triptans are a type of prescription drug that can help relieve the pain from cluster headaches. These medications work by narrowing blood vessels in the brain, which reduces swelling and inflammation. They’re also not addictive or habit forming.
- Antidepressants and anticonvulsants are also sometimes used to treat cluster headaches, but they aren’t as effective as triptans are and may come with side effects such as fatigue or drowsiness.
- Steroids might be recommended if you have a lot of symptoms during clusters, including nasal congestion, runny nose and watery eyes (all common with allergies). However, this treatment isn’t always effective since it can take weeks before you start noticing an improvement in symptoms from steroids
Talk to your doctor about a nerve block procedure.
A nerve block is a treatment option that involves injecting a local anesthetic into the area of your face where you normally feel pain. The procedure can be done in a doctor’s office or in a hospital, and it can be done under local anesthesia or general anesthesia.
Make sure to talk to your doctor about the various treatment options for cluster headaches
If you have cluster headaches, it’s important to talk to your doctor about the various treatment options. They can be treated in a number of different ways. Cluster headaches can be treated with prescription medications like:
- Anti-seizure drugs (e.g., topiramate)
- Antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline)
- Calcium channel blockers (e.g., verapamil)
- Combination drug therapy
Cluster headaches are a serious condition, but with the right treatment plan, you can find relief and even manage your symptoms. The key is to get started as soon as possible after diagnosis so that you can begin finding the most effective approach for managing your cluster headaches.