“Cluster headache, also known as ‘suicide headache,’ is a neurological disorder characterized by severe pain behind or around one’s eye,” said Brian M. Grosberg, M.D., director, Montefiore Headache Center and associate professor, Clinical Neurology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. “It is one of the most painful conditions a person can experience, even more incapacitating than a migraine. When patients come in with a cluster headache, they often share how it impacts their personal and professional lives and how the sensation is so severe they feel at the end of their rope.”

And, while most people are happy to mark the start of summer on June 21st, nearly 1 million people face the disabling pain of cluster headaches due to Earth’s shift towards the sun. The human biological rhythm is tied into the earth’s rotation, causing people who suffer from cluster headaches to face unrelenting head pain.

Cluster headaches happen in close proximity and frequently throughout a day, averaging 30 minutes to 3 hours. In about 80% of people with these headaches, pain lasts for up to 12 weeks each year – often occurring during seasonal changes. Men are up to 4 times more likely to have them, which goes against migraine tendencies.

Robert Drain, a former firefighter from New York said, “I infrequently get a headache, however, during the longest and shortest days of the year, the left side of my face would contort and I would be in severe pain. I would find myself walking in circles; it was almost like I was trying to run away from the agony. By tracking my headaches in a log, Dr. Grosberg and I were able to figure out that I was experiencing cluster headaches.”

Dr. Grosberg suggested the following for those who suffer from cluster headaches, and want to prevent onset of symptoms and help minimize the headache pain severity…..

*  Avoid drinking alcohol or smoking during cluster headache periods.

*  Consider the use of breathing in 100% (pure) oxygen for 10-15 minutes to treat an attack.

*  Speak with a headache specialist about different remedies. Grosberg said it’s important to have an honest and open dialogue with your physician.     sciencedaily.com   6/13/14

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