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Cluster headaches are a rare form of headache notable for their extreme pain and their pattern of occurring in "clusters", usually at the same time(s) of the day for several weeks. A cluster headache usually begins suddenly with excruciating pain on one side of the head, often behind or around one eye. In some individuals, it may be preceded by a migraine-like "aura." The pain usually peaks over the next 5 to 10 minutes, and then continues at that intensity for up to an hour or two before going away.
Conditions Associated with Cluster Headaches:
Generally begin between the ages of 20 and 50, although the syndrome can also start in childhood or late in life.
Males are much more likely than females to develop cluster headaches.
Alcohol (especially red wine) provokes attacks in more than half of those with cluster headaches, but has no effect once the cluster period ends.
The tendency of Cluster Headaches:
It occurs during the same time(s) from day to day
It occurs more often at night than during the daylight hours
These tendencies suggest they could be caused by irregularities in the body’s circadian rhythms, which are controlled by the brain and a family of hormones that regulate the sleep-wake cycle.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. www.ninds.nih.gov
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The headache usually begins suddenly with excruciating pain on one side of the head, often behind or around one eye.