Cluster headaches are the least common of heahaches, but happen to be the most excruciating reoccurring headaches experienced by sufferers. According to Migrainetrust.org, cluster headaches affect about 1-2 people in every 1000. In fact, women who happen to experience these kinds of headaches say it’s more painful than childbirth. Ouch! Research has shown that these type of headaches are more common in people who smoke and are heavy drinkers.
Cluster headache attacks come on very suddenly and usually at night, a couple of hours after falling asleep. Some sufferers might experience nausea and aura before the headache strikes, similar to migraine sufferers. During one of these episodes, intense one-sided pain is felt, often concentrated behind the eye and sometimes in other areas of the face, head, and neck. These excruciating headaches can last up to three hours. Once a cluster period begins, the headaches usually occur daily, at the same time of day/night. This pattern can last many weeks to several months.
The cause of this headache syndrome is unknown. What is known is that the headaches come on when the main sensory nerve of the face, the trigeminal nerve, is triggered, causing extreme eye pain. Also, the latest imaging studies on patients during cluster attacks have shown stimulation of the hypothalamus, where Cluster headaches seem to be generated.
Luckily, neurofeedback therapy (brain training) offers a solution for not only cluster headache sufferers, but for migraine and tension headache sufferers as well. This alternative treatment can give life-long relief to patients suffering from these debilitating conditions. By mapping the brain, we’re able to locate the parts of the brain, causing headaches. Therefore, once discovered, we can focus on balancing the brain, so brain function improves, with specific brain exercises to decrease the frequency. In addition to using neurofeedback therapy, we also prescribe hyperbaric oxygen therapy as a treatment to increase oxygen and blood flow to the brain.
Dr. Elena Eustache is a specialist in Neurofeedback Therapy, with a Ph.D. in Psychology and Cognitive Behavior Therapy. Dr. Elena Eustache helps her patients reach their full potential so that they can live the life they have always dreamed. You can read more about neurofeedback and hyperbaric oxygen therapy by visiting her blog, visiting her website and by following her on Instagram and Facebook.