Clusters

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
Is there anyone else on here that has cluster headaches?

Submitted: September 09, 2016

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Submitted: September 09, 2016

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Clusters

 

Cluster Headaches are estimated to be experienced by one in every five hundred to a thousand of the population. I happen to be one of them and I have to say that when they hit it is no fun at all.

 

First off, the term ‘headache’ is a bit misleading. The primary source for me, as it is for most people is the eye. It comes on suddenly; there is no gradual build-up. One moment it’s fine, the next it’s bordering on agony. The best way I can describe it is to imagine there is something behind your eye, actually inside the eye socket. This thing then tries to bore its way, slowly and steadily through to the outside world. I say slowly because an attack can last anything from fifteen minutes to three hours.

 

I guess I am one of the luckier ones as mine rarely last for longer than an hour at a time. During this time I can’t sit still, can’t lie down, can’t look at screens of any sort or read anything, and can’t stand noise. I have this intense desire to bang my head against a wall in an effort to get some relief; I don’t actually do this now though as past experience has proved it does not help. I can’t stand anything touching me, especially the back of my head. All I can do is make a fist and press as hard as possible against that eye. Sometimes an hour feels like an eternity.

 

Generally, I get five or six of these attacks spread throughout a week, but then can go for several weeks or even a month before they strike again. Some people apparently go through them constantly with no periods of remission. These are the people I feel sorry for.

 

Nine-and-a-half times out of ten it is my right eye that is affected. And it shows. My eyelid now has a permanent droop, and that eye is prone to watering. Both my pupils are small which means that in bright light they can’t retract; when there is bright sunshine I need dark glasses.

 

One final point about cluster headaches is that they do not respond to over-the-counter medication. Paracetamol, Aspirin, Ibuprofen – none of these will help at all. I don’t take anything but I have read that Lithium is sometimes prescribed. My doctor has informed me that oxygen sometimes helps – great if you happen to have a cylinder and mask just laying around but not a lot of help to me. I have heard that Cluster Headaches sometimes just stop occurring – well, I’m not sure how many years I’ve been getting them for but I’m still waiting for them to vanish.


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