Cluster headaches are a very serious, debilitating form of headache. The pain is usually described as being on one side of the head, usually above or behind the eyes. The pain tends to come in cycles, which are often known as clusters. Many patients describe the sensation of a cluster headache as ‘drilling’ and quite severe.
There are a number of symptoms associated with cluster headaches such as watering eyes, nasal stuffiness and drooping eyelids. The headaches can last for varying lengths of time from a few minutes to a few hours. The headaches can also occur several times daily. This can make it very difficult for individuals who suffer from chronic cluster headaches to engage in daily activities such as going to work.
Cluster headaches have been described for many hundreds of years, but only in the last century have they been given this name. The exact biological cause is unknown, but there are a number of things that can contribute to the likelihood of someone developing cluster headaches.
Cause #1: Alcohol
While alcohol hasn’t been proved to cause cluster headaches on its own, it has been suggested that alcohol can trigger cluster headaches in those who are already known to have the problem.
This is particularly true in people who are in the midst of a cycle, or a cluster. Many may reach for a bottle of booze to ease the symptoms of the pain or fall back asleep but unfortunately this can just trigger another cycle.