Cluster Headaches

Cluster Headaches

Definition of Cluster Headaches

Cluster headaches affect one side of the head (unilateral) and may be associated with tearing of the eyes and nasal congestion. They occur in clusters, happening repeatedly every day at the same time for several weeks and then remitting.

Who Is Most Often Affected?

Cluster headaches are a fairly common form of chronic, recurrent headache. Unlike migraines, they affect men more often than women. They can affect people of any age but are most common between adolescence and middle age. There does not seem to be a pattern among families in the development of cluster headaches.

How Often Do They Occur?

Cluster headaches occur as a severe, sudden headache. The onset is sudden, and it occurs most commonly during the dreaming (REM) phase of sleep. Cluster headaches may occur daily for months, alternating with periods without headaches (episodic), or they can occur for a year or more without stopping (chronic). A person may experience alternating chronic and episodic phases.


  • Swelling under or around the eyes.
  • Red eye (on the affected side).
  • Flushed face.
  • Excessive tears (on the affected side).
  • Runny nose or nasal congestion.
  • Begins suddenly.
  • Pain commonly begins 2 to 3 hours after falling asleep and is steady, sharp, or burning. Characteristically occurs on one side of the head and may occur in and around one eye.
  • May involve one side of the face from neck to temples. Pain quickly gets worse, peaking within 5 to 10 minutes and peak may last one-half to 2 hours.


Chiropractic care works on correcting the underlying causes of headaches and relieving symptoms associated with cluster headaches.

To see if a Dr. Anderson may be able to help you call (802) 295-9360 today.