PREVIOUS QUESTION:

 

NEXT QUESTION:

 

What are episodic cluster headaches?

ANSWER

Doctors call some cluster headaches “episodic,” and others “chronic.” The key difference is whether you ever get a break or if they just keep coming.

If you have episodic headaches, you have pain-free stretches that last for at least a month to years between groups of attacks, called "cluster periods." Most people have this kind.

Episodic cluster headaches happen in groups that can last anywhere from 7 days to a year (on average, for 6-12 weeks). During each cluster period, you may have between one and eight headaches a day. Each one may last from 15 minutes to 3 hours, although medicine can shorten that time.

From: What Are Cluster Headaches? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

National Headache Foundation: "Cluster Headaches."

International Headache Society: "International Classification of Headache Disorders: ICHD-3 beta."

UptoDate: "Cluster Headaches: Epidemiology, clinical features, and diagnosis," "Pathophysiology of the trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias."

Rozen, T. , January 2012. Headache

Mampreso, E. , September 2009. Journal of Headache Pain

Beck, E. , February 2005. American Family Physician

U.S. National Library of Medicine: "Cluster Headache."

Mayo Clinic: "Cluster headache."

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on November 12, 2017

SOURCES:

National Headache Foundation: "Cluster Headaches."

International Headache Society: "International Classification of Headache Disorders: ICHD-3 beta."

UptoDate: "Cluster Headaches: Epidemiology, clinical features, and diagnosis," "Pathophysiology of the trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias."

Rozen, T. , January 2012. Headache

Mampreso, E. , September 2009. Journal of Headache Pain

Beck, E. , February 2005. American Family Physician

U.S. National Library of Medicine: "Cluster Headache."

Mayo Clinic: "Cluster headache."

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on November 12, 2017

NEXT QUESTION:

What are chronic cluster headaches?

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.