Cluster Headaches

Cluster Headache Treatment in South Carolina

Cluster Headache Specialist in Spartanburg, Duncan, and Greenville, SC

Cluster headaches are a common yet painful type of headache that typically occur in periods close together, or “clusters”. Cluster headache attacks can come on suddenly and last for a few minutes or up to several hours, with most patients experiencing another attack again within several days or even hours of the first initial headache.

What is a Cluster Headache?

A cluster headache is a type of headache where the pain is located on one side of the face/head, usually around an eye or temple. Cluster headaches come on quickly and patients experience redness or swelling and tearing of the affected eye. These headaches are often described as the most painful of the headache types and while they last for a relatively short amount of time, the recurrent or repeating nature of the headache can drastically impact a patient’s quality of life.

Cluster headaches are a painful way to go about your life. Cluster headache relief and treatment are available. 

Cluster Headaches Symptoms

Everyone is different but most patients with cluster headaches report:

  • Swelling on the affected side
  • One-sided intense pain near the temple or eye socket
  • Sudden onset of pain/headache
  • Nasal congestion
  • Restlessness and agitation
  • Sudden recurrent headache in the same area up to 8 or more times a day
  • Eyelid drooping or swelling in the affected area
  • Pale skin or flushing 
  • Forehead or facial sweating on affected side
  • Pain builds a peak within 15 minutes of the onset of the headache

Cluster Headaches Treatment

Treatment for cluster headaches focuses on lessening the pain, shortening the length of the headache, increasing the time between clusters, and preventing new cluster headache attacks. Most current treatments focus on the prevention of new cluster headache attacks. 

Some treatments include:

  • Prescription medication 
  • Nerve block
  • Oxygen therapy
  • Local anesthetic
  • Noninvasive vagus nerve stimulation (VNS)

What Causes Cluster Headaches?

While the direct cause of cluster headaches is still being researched, patients can keep track of lifestyle exposures they’ve had to steer clear of anything that may trigger a cluster headache attack. 

Some known triggers for cluster headaches are:

  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Alcohol use
  • Sudden weather changes
  • Sudden changes in altitude like flying or hiking
  • Certain medications

    How to Prevent Cluster Headaches

    Follow these tips to lower your chances of a cluster headache attack:

    • Avoid alcohol, especially beer and wine
    • Avoid nicotine
    • Keep a regular sleep schedule, wake up and go to bed at the same time each day

      Cluster Headache Diagnosis:

      A CONA Neurologist will carefully listen to your symptoms and obtain a medical history and possibly order a CT scan or an MRI to rule out tension headaches, migraines, spinal injury, or other possible underlying causes. Once the imaging results come in, your provider will work with you on a treatment plan to reduce the intensity and frequency of your cluster headache attacks.

      Cluster Headache Treatment in South Carolina

      Our specialists here at CONA are here to help you regain your quality of life from cluster headaches. If you’ve been suffering from cluster headaches, request an appointment at any of our locations convenient to you.


        You do not have to live your life around when a cluster headache may strike. To make an appointment with our CONA Neurology Department, consult your primary care physician or family doctor for a referral to one of our Neurology Specialists. We serve patients from Spartanburg, SC, Duncan, SC, and Greenville, SC.

        Meet Our Awarded Specialists