Cluster headaches


Spork Queen
Does anyone here suffer from them, or have experience with them? I'm seriously thinking that this is what has been going on with me for months.

Since last February, I have not been able to breathe out of both nostrils at the same time. If it my left side that is 'clogged,' my left eye runs constantly and my left ear is in incredible pain.

Antibiotics have not worked...I should own stock in nasal sprays and Kleenex.

Oddly enough, it was my assistant who brought this up to me. When I did some web research it was like they were reading my life story for the last 6 months.

Any insight would be great.



Active Member
I had one cluster headache years ago. it was a stabbing pain in one eye. I had a lifelong history of migraines that would stop my day at noon.

in 1994 I went to a chiropractor who cured me of the headaches. never had one since.


Well-Known Member

I suffered from cluster headaches many years ago. But from what you describe with your nose, eye and ear involved I would think it had something to do with your sinuses. Have you had a sinus xray?



New Member
A friend of mine had what you describe, but it was a sinus infection so bad that regular anti-biotics didn't work. She had to have surgery to remove the infection and then go back every week to have it drained, while on another set of anti-biotics. Her sinus cavities were apparently a little odd and not like most people and it trapped the infection. It hurt all the way into her front gums/teeth it was so painful.


Spork Queen
I have not had an xray. I have to say that my HMO is the most lame I've ever seen. She just instantly prescribed antibiotics and an antihistomine without even looking up my nose.

I've had many sinus infections over the years so I'm well aware of the signs. This is different. I've never had the 'one-sidedness' and the facial pain.



Active Member
Cluster Headache Symptoms:

Defining Symptoms of Cluster Headaches
Severe headaches that occur on one side of the head with piercing sharp pain in the eye.
Headaches occur in "clusters" when plotted on a calendar, often lasting for a few weeks with a period of remission, though an extended chronic period may occur.
Extreme pain that is unbearable at its peak, worst pain immaginable.

Common Symptoms of Cluster Headaches
On the side affected:
Runny nose, congestion
Drooping eyelid
Watery eye, tearing
Neck pain and stiffness.
Dental pain.
Headaches wake people from sleep.
Occur with regularity in time.
Ganglion lump on back of neck that may become inflamed during attack.

Common Triggers of Cluster Headaches
Disruption of sleep pattern, napping.
Exposure to perfume.

~~~Abbey the sharp eye pain is what I remember most~~~


Spork Queen
Thanks, Janet. I haven't had a full night sleep in months. I'm going to give this until Friday then call the doctor.



call 911
I am SO sorry for your pain. I suffer from migraines and occasionally I will get what is called a dibilitating migraine. It starts like a regular migraine, but renders me unable to walk and talk. I can hear the littlest sound and it's magnified in my head. The only cure for me is a Morphine shot with something else added in. I basically go to sleep for 9-10 hours and wake up so weak I can barely stand.

I was getting 15 migraines a month and got put on Topamax. 400mg. is the recommded dosage to work up to for migraine sufferers. Recently I couldn't keep anything down and was hospitalized. This went on 9 days. By that time all my medications were out of my system. I noticed that during that time despite everything else I had few headaches. That made me wonder if one of my other medications was causing my headaches.

It's been 3 weeks now, and I get the daily hatband symptoms and aching head, but have noticed that when I eat cheese within an hour I have the light aura, the pain behind the eyes, the tinnitis (ear ringing) and it usually lasts a day. Relpax is a help but it is almost $30.00 a tablet. I figured for $30.00 I was worth it to get rid of it, but you can't get more than 6.

I am sure some of the medications are just now leaving my system, but I cut out caffeine, Paxil, and a host of other medications due to my condition. So far I feel about like I did before the Topamax, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) tendencies went totally away. I don't have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), but I have many of the symptoms they suffer. While on the Topamax, I had none. I may end up back on it, but for now, I'm doing eliminations. Perfume, cigarettes, cheese, sunny sunny days on end (Something to do with the barometric pressure in the atmosphere) cause me discomfort and migraines.

My sister suffered from cluster headaches and I watched her bang her head on the floor, scream and cry. At one point she tried to commit suicide because she said death would be better than what her head put her through. She got older and grew out of them, but still has an occasional migraine. She takes Imitrex when it happens.

I would say keep a diary each day include the weather, what you had to eat, any stress (have more paper ready for that right?) and note the time your headaches start, when they stop. Take that to a neurologist (with referral) and let them help you.

Again- I am so sorry for your pain. Hope something I wrote helps. Oh and I have nasal polyps. Sounds gross I know. But one doctor suggested that the polyps may have something to do with it. The neurologist said...maybe but not likely. They can find that out with an X-ray.

Good luck

OMG, my mom has your symptoms, word for word! The debilitating migraines, the can't walk, can't talk, no light, don't make a sound, gimme my shot, hatband, leave me alone...I so do not envy you, poor thing.

Mom takes a medication called Fiorinol (sp?) when it gets real bad. She also takes Imitrex to head them off.

My older daughter used to get them so bad she would puke from them. Me, I lucked out for the most part, but in the past year, I got the cluster headaches. Mine are less stabby and more achy, very dull pain. but relentless.

Headaches bite.


Spork Queen
The odd thing is I RARELY have headaches. I probably take two Advil in a year. Now, it seems I take them all the time, and it really doesn't do much.

Right now I'm sitting here with my left ear absolutely aching and a left eye and nostril running clear fluid. Something just isn't right.



I have headaches on a daily basis. Many get severe. I have had them such as described above. However, most of the time it is a sinus infection. One time the infection would not clear up with the oral antibiotics and the Dr. had me come in for three consecutive days (outpatient) and have an IV antibiotic. This worked.

I would have the headache checked out.