Welcome to our New Patient Guide, where you will learn what cluster headache is, how it is diagnosed & treated, and what you can do to manage this painful condition. You’ll quickly discover there is no “silver bullet” to stop the pain of cluster headaches. In fact, in many cases it takes so long to come to a diagnosis that you may have already been through several drug trials with your physician or neurologist in order to rule out other maladies. This is not at all surprising because cluster headaches are a primary headache type. In order to diagnose a primary headache type, your doctor must first rule out secondary headache types, including headaches caused by trauma, lesion, or tumor. This is for your safety, but it can certainly be frustrating going through the various diagnostics with no real pain relief.
The following is a description of what it feels like to experience a cluster headache attack. Cluster headaches range in intensity and any seasoned cluster headache patient knows well how to quickly rate the pain they are feeling on a scale of 1-10. The following is an example of a level 8 cluster headache attack.