Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Migraines & Headaches Health Center

Font Size

Cluster Headaches: Conditions With Similar Symptoms - Topic Overview

In general, headaches have many causes, including tension or changes to blood vessels (vascular changes). But only a few other conditions have symptoms that are similar to cluster headaches, such as:

  • Migraine headaches, which cause one-sided pain in the head, face, and neck. But while migraine pain starts on one side of the head, it may spread to the entire head—something a cluster headache does not do. Also, migraine auras, such as seeing bright lights or wavy lines prior to getting the headache, do not usually occur in cluster headaches. Cluster headaches usually appear suddenly without warning.
  • Trigeminal neuralgia, which causes sudden, one-sided, intense facial pain. This pain usually lasts for only a few seconds to a couple of minutes but can also be a long-term problem.
  • Chronic paroxysmal hemicrania (CPH), which also causes short headache attacks, but mostly in women. Unlike cluster headaches, CPH responds well to a medicine called indomethacin, which can help the doctor tell the difference between CPH and cluster headaches.
1

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: January 27, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Cluster Headaches: Conditions With Similar Symptoms Topics

Today on WebMD

woman receiving acupuncture
14 alternative methods for migraine relief.
Woman with migraine headache
Signs it's not a regular headache.
 
headache in the bedroom
Keep headaches from ruining your sex life.
desert heat
12 surprising headache triggers.
 
woman receiving acupuncture
Slideshow
Hands reaching for medicine
Article
 
Migraines Headaches Basics
Article
acupuncture needles in woman's back
Slideshow
 
Hormones Headaches
Articles
healthy lifestyle items
Article
 
Sinusitis
Slideshow
headache in the bedroom
Article
 

Special Sections