Cluster Headache or something else?

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New Member

Date Joined Nov 2014
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 11/18/2014 11:16 AM (GMT -6)   
For about 4 years now I have had on and off issues with horrible headaches. The headache usually surrounds one eye (on either side but more typically my right side) and radiates out into my temple, nose, ear, and/or jaw.
Back in 2011 I started seeing a doctor for the headaches that were occurring multiple times in a week and bringing me to tears. At first he just *assumed* (without any testing and only after seeing me once) that my headaches were migraines and he put me on medication typically used for seizures (Topiramate, I believe) to make the headaches stop and another (I believe a painkiller) to take when I got one. The first barely helped and I found I was taking the second quite often because I was still getting the headaches. After taking it for a couple of months, I found my feet and hands were getting weird tingling/numb sensations, which frightened me (which was a side effect of the meds). I immediately stopped taking the meds and went back to the doctor. I told him it did not help and I was worried by the negative side effect. He then began actually listening to me and wondered if my wisdom teeth had something to do with it (since my pain seemed to be centralized around my jaw, sides of my face, and ear at the time). I went to the dentist and come to find out all four of my wisdom teeth were impacted. In August of 2011 I had my wisdom teeth surgically removed and shortly after my headaches seemed to have stopped.
In just about the past year or so, my headaches have seemed to reappear. When they first started again they were pretty tolerable and not occurring very often and I just strugged them off as regular headaches or headaches from stress (I work in a mental health hospital...gets extremely stressful at times). But as time goes on, they have become worse. The pain is now more centralized around my eye, nose, ear, jaw, and temple and gradually becomes more intolerable. It feels like a sharp, stabbing pressure. Sometimes it will be on my left but is more often on my right. I also tend to have them most of the time when I wake up in the morning. I take Excedrin Migraine, doesn't touch it. I take ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or aspirin, doesn't touch it. I try laying down, doesn't help. I eat something, nothing. I stay hydrated and usually get plenty of sleep.
Today I woke up with one and began researching different headaches. I don't believe it's a migraine since I do not have sensitivity to light or sound, nausea/vomiting, exhaustion, or weakness and isn't throbbing. It doesn't feel like a tension headache since it is not in my neck, shoulders, or back of my head. But when I read about cluster headaches, a lot of the symptoms seem to relate to me. It's stabbing/pressure, I usually get it around the same time, I've had remission periods, lying down usually doesn't help, it's centralized around my eye and on the same side.
Has anybody experienced the same thing or can someone who suffers from migraines or cluster headaches shed anymore light on this? I know I have to see a doctor and I plan to make an appointment for when I'm available. I just would like some help in possible remedies or more insight so I know what to tell the doctor when I go.

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2016
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 9/13/2016 12:46 AM (GMT -6)   
Sounds like a cluster headache to me. I suffered from them in my early 20's. Come to think about it, it was shortly after I had my wisdom teeth pulled. In my case, the headaches woke me up in the middle of e night, at almost the same time, late every night. Like an alarm clock set to a certain time. I still remember the excruciating pain. Like someone stuck a red hot poker in my right eye. My right temple was pounding, my right eye teared, and my nose ran in the right nostril. This was 25 years ago, and I will never forget it! I would crawl down the hallway of my apartment, pleading and praying God to take this pain away...
They didn't know much about cluster headaches back then. So I was either given a shot of pain killer, or given combinations of Tylenol and or aspirin. Which did very little to reduce my pain.
Then they introduced me to auto-injector shots of Sumatriptan, the only thing available at the time. Yes, it helped, but the side effects were very uncomfortable, to say the least... Not to mention, jabbing your thigh, with a long needle...
After seeing 5 different doctors. I found that a calcium channel blocker worked for me. That is, it kept the headaches from occurring, after a few days of taking it. Perhaps it will work for you! Like I said, I had the headaches, back when little was known on how to treat them. Today they have more medications to treat this, other then auto-injector needles, that I only used, as a last resort. Crazy as it seems, before I found medicine to help me... I used to put my fingers down my throat, to make me vomit. And once I did, the pain subsided, and I could go back to sleep. Please don't do this! As your stomach acid will ruin your teeth. I only did it, because there wasn't any medicine back then, to relieve my pain. I suggest you see a doctor, that specializes in migraines, and cluster headaches. I wish you luck, and to be free of this horrible pain. You are not alone...

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 7515
   Posted Yesterday 11:55 AM (GMT -6)   
Cluster headaches do not usually include the neck and jaw.

Look up A typical face pain - Cluster - Neuralgia

Find a Neuro doc that treats these specifically

Peace and strength
Moderator - Depression
Be still and know there is Peace.

Kabir says: "Student tell me, what is God? He is the breath inside the breath". from the poem Breath.
DX: reverse Trigeminal Neuralgia;Cluster headaches; Atypical face pain;Hemicrania Continua; raynauds;complex PTSD; recurring MDD,disassociative disorder;
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