Cluster Headaches


What symptoms do you experience with your cluster headaches? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Jeffro, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: November 19

I've just discovered what they are, by reading the comments. I have had cluster headaches for several years now, typically around October or November. It hurt so bad I was just about lose my mind; like a drill or jagged edged knife was being pushed into the right side of my head, just behind and slightly above my right ear. I know what severe pain is like, this pain redefines severe pain in a big way. I sometimes cry out to stop this cruel and unusual type of punishment. I don't know what to do about it.

Comment from: Brookelangelo, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 09

I'm a 41 year old woman who suffered these one-sided cluster headaches for years; always the right side of my face/skull. My eye socket, side/base of my skull, ear, cheekbone, jaw, even teeth would scream in pain. Years and no answers. Then a couple years ago, I stumbled on the root of the problem being in the muscles of my neck and shoulder. Bad shoulder muscle alignment and wearing bras were the main culprits. Chiropractic care, ultrasound, massage, and special exercises/stretches have helped a lot.

Comment from: BillinPAIN, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: October 09

Right now, at this moment, I'm in remission but dreading the return of cluster headaches. Everything written on this website encapsulates my own experience: crushing headache, weeping eye, screaming with pain, sense of helplessness and uselessness. Nobody can understand the pain who has not gone through it. Nobody can come up with a solution. Very depressing. Sumatriptan seems to work somewhat.

Comment from: Marius, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: June 16

I have been suffering with cluster headaches (only recently diagnosed by my general physician) for several years, 5 to 7 years maybe, and 3 to 4 times a week! It is always behind my right eye. Usually it wakes me around 4 to 6 o'clock in the morning. After taking analgesics it mostly subsides after 2 or 3 hours. During an episode, I feel like climbing the walls and want to scream at the top of my voice. The pain is excruciating! I'm sure that hitting me on the head with a hammer will be less painful. Everyone thinks I am just seeking attention.

Comment from: Jordy, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: June 16

Snorting Percocet works where the pain is. Only lasts 3 to 4 hours and the pain comes back.

Comment from: Marti, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 24

My symptoms are always the same every year at the same time (May – July) since I was 28 years old. At first my heart rate increases and then a teardrop slides down, and my nose get stuffy. Once I'm warned, the pain starts and my left eyebrow feels like it is being hit with a baseball bat. Sometimes the pain is also in my left temple, but mostly in my left eye eyebrow and socket. The pain lasts anywhere from 10 minutes to 1.5 hours (the 1.5 hours was ambulance/hospital stay). Once the pain decreases, the left side of my face goes numb, almost paralysis like for a few minutes.

Comment from: 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 05

My symptoms are right sided nasal congestion, nasal dripping, cheek, side of nose and orbital pain, tinnitus, and a frothy discharge from my eye. My cluster headaches started in October seven years ago. I thought it was some sort of tooth ache because they were pretty much continuous. It lasted a couple of weeks, stopped and reappeared in March. Since then I have them continuously. I used aspirin for a year before it worked for me. The best treatment that I have had was Lidocaine injections.

Comment from: jimc, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: September 25

I have been having cluster headaches for years now. I have them for eight months out of the year, four months on with two-month breaks in between. I get up to twenty a day, I have tried all the preventatives and none work, Topamax even makes them worse. So I rely on my sumatriptan injections to get relief. The only drawback is Medicare only pays for four kits or eight shots, but they work like a miracle for me. I am 42 and they sometimes make me cry like a baby because they feel like it is ripping my head apart. It is always on my left side behind my eye. If you haven't tried the injections, get them! The headaches are gone within minutes. Good luck to all you fellow sufferers.

Comment from: kim, 45-54 Female Published: June 13

My cluster hits me in the middle of the day on one side. My eyes hurt. These headaches are so painful that they make me cry like a baby and I am 44 years old.

Comment from: candie anne, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: January 24

I've been experiencing these headaches for years since I can remember. I was told I have migraines and tension headaches but the pain is unbearable. I recently went to a traditional Chinese doctor of acupuncture and western medicine and told I suffer from cluster headaches.


16 Surprising Headache Triggers and Tips for Pain Relief See Slideshow
Comment from: Nekkiebutler, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: December 28

I thought that I was alone with these murderous headaches. I get them at any given time of day or night and nothing really soothes them. I have pain all on the right side of my face including my head, eye, nose, teeth, and neck. I can't continue to live like this. I need relief from these cluster headaches. I've had them in the past and I took Imitrex but it doesn't seem to work this time around. I have been having them for at least the last 6 to 7 weeks now and nothing seems to take the pain away. I just feel like a burden to be around.

Comment from: David, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: November 29

I am starting yet another cluster cycle as of a week ago. I have been in remission for three years. It always starts with the tightening of the muscles in the base of my skull on the right. The pain is almost unbearable with a "bad one." I am unable to look at any type of light, my right eye droops and waters,a pulsating pain that I can't even begin to explain to someone who hasn't experienced it. This completely consumes me. I always vomit with this headache, and it reduces the pressure in my head temporarily but comes back shortly. The only thing that has helped me in the past is Depakote and Imitrex injections. Time to go back to the doctor!

Comment from: Robert, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: November 16

I've been having cluster headaches off and on since I was in my mid-20s. They usually occur in the spring or the fall and last for five or six weeks. When I'm in the midst of a cluster, I usually get two headaches a day, one in the early evening and another that wakes me up an hour or two after going to bed. The main symptom is excruciating pain on the left side. The left eye isn't as involved as it seems to be for some other sufferers. During an attack I'll pace back and forth until the pain subsides. I've had some success with the oral version of Imitrex but lately it hasn't been as effective as it once was. Before the current cluster I was in remission for four years.

Comment from: nickc, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: August 30

My cluster starts with the burning nostril and slight eye tearing. I feel the cluster side of my head start to inflame or at least it feels like it and then it arrives. Mine last about 45 minutes and I get them three times a day. It has totally stopped my life. I’ve been using Zomig, which worked great at first but now it only stops the mild ones...

Comment from: Chris, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 08

I get pain on one side of my entire head and the location of the pain's greatest intensity moves all over during the headache, from the hairline at the back of the neck, to the top of the head, the eye, the ear, even the teeth and jaw. They are always on the right side of the head. I often vomit when the pain is at its height. I tend to get 2 or 3 a day and with medication they last about one hour. Without medication, they last 3 to 4 hours. I find I must sit up during the headache as the pain increases when I lie down. It is not unusual for me to wake up from a headache during the night. Occasionally the pain stops completely after I vomit. The clusters tend to last about 3 or 4 weeks. The pain stops me in my tracks every time, making it impossible to do anything but hold my head while sitting in a cool dark place.

Comment from: Las Veags mike, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: August 08

My name is Mike I have had clusters for about 12 years now. They used to happen very rarely. In the last two months I get them everyday two to three times a day. The ones that wake me up every night are the most intense. The pain I can't even put in on a scale it’s that bad. In fact last night was one of the worst attacks yet. It sad to say but you would almost do anything for it to stop. I take Imitrex around three times a day. This is just a very depressing way to live each day knowing at a certain each day and night I have to go through it all over again.

Comment from: KC, 25-34 (Patient) Published: July 14

I get a sharp pain that digs into my temple, eye socket, cheek bone and teeth all down the one side of my face. The sharp drilling pain comes in at different angles, but it hurts from the inside out. The ones that wake me up in the night are the worst.

Comment from: painfull, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: April 01

For my cluster headaches, I get swelling over my right eye, watery eyes, swelling around the eye, and a clogged right nasal passage unbearable piercing pain. I can set my watch by these attacks – every three hours like clockwork, day in and day out.


A migraine is a result of neurological (nerve) dysfunction. See Answer

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors