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Marshall James Nev, PLC | Cluster Headaches in Richmond

Lexington-Richmond Headache Clinic
Marshall James Ney, DMD, FAAOP
Fellow American Academy of Oral Facial Pain

527 W. Main St.
Richmond, 40475
(859) 623-3761

Cluster Headaches

Cluster headaches are fairly rare and affect men more than women. When they do occur, they come in groups called cluster periods that can last for several weeks or months. The intervals between the clusters of headaches are pain-free times that can last months or even years.

Pain from a cluster headache is typically on one side of the head and in the worst attacks, the pain can be excruciating. Pain may also be bilateral and non-throbbing. There are two types of cluster headaches, episodic and chronic.

Episodic Cluster Headache

These have clearly defined groups of headache attacks. The periods of pain can last seven days to one year, but are usually between two weeks and three months. Between the headache attacks, there are periods with no pain that are at least a month long. To have episodic cluster headaches there must have been at least two cluster periods.

Chronic Cluster Headache

Attacks for chronic cluster headaches occur for more than one year without the pain free period or the pain free time lasts less than one month. Chronic cluster headaches can begin as chronic and become episodic or vice versa.

Cluster Headache Facts

  • Cluster headaches last a short period of time, but cause severe pain.
  • Men suffer from cluster headaches three to six times more often than women.
  • Less than one adult in 1,000 suffers from cluster headaches.
  • The disorder surfaces when people are in their 20s or older.
  • With each episode, the pain almost always occurs on the same side of the head.
  • About 5% of cluster headaches appear to be inherited according to the International Headache Society (IHS).
  • About 10% to 15% of cluster headache sufferers never have pain-free periods, also according to the IHS.

Other Names for Cluster Headaches

  • Horton's Headache
  • Harrs-Horton's Disease
  • Ciliary Neuralgia
  • Erythro-melalgia of the Head
  • Erythroprosopalgia of Bing
  • Migrainous Neuralgia

Cluster Headache Diagnosis

The International Headache Society defines Cluster Headache as having the following characteristics:

  1. At least five attacks have the criteria ... (B through D?)
    1. Severe or very severe head pain in the area around the eyes and below the forehead that last from 15 minutes to three hours if not treated
  2. The headache has at least one of the following:
    1. Ipsilateral conjunctival injection and/or lacrimation—which is pink eye, swollen eyelid and/or tearing
    2. Nasal congestion and/or runny nose
    3. Eyelid swelling
    4. Forehead and facial sweating
    5. Drooping eyelid or constriction of the pupil
    6. Restlessness or agitation
  3. The headache attacks occur every other day up to eight each day.
  4. The headache is not caused by another disorder.


Richmond Dentist | Cluster Headaches. Marshall James Ney is a Richmond Dentist.