I usually get these types of head pains in the Fall, however, it came early this year in July. I will wake up one morning with a stabbing pain in the base of the skull and it works its way up from the back to the top/side (by my ear) and stops behind my right eye. The pressure/stabbing pain is horrendous and causes my nose to run and eyes to water and hurts to even lightly touch my skin on the right side. If I feel the pain coming on and can get access to Excedrin Migraine pills (albiet taking 5-6 at a time) in time, I can usually somewhat function until the pain subsides. I will get these episodes several times a day and usually will wake me up out of a sleep at night when it is the worst. My doctor gave me an CT Scan, which didn't show anything and migraine medications, which did not help. I've given up going to the doctor because they are treating me for migraines and I know that it is not a migraine, as I've gotten those too and I would welcome the migraines any day over this pain. These episodes will last anywhere between 4-5 weeks and I will wake up one morning and they will be gone until the next year. I'm not sure if it is sinuses or if I'm sensitive to barometric pressure? Any help you can provide or something that I could do to alleviate this horrible time each year for me would be most appreciated!
Although according to the distribution this headache could be a a occipital neuralgia, still all other features of this headache are characteristic for a type of headache, known as cluster headache.
It is one of the most severe pain a person can experience, thus known as suicidal headache.
It has tendency to occur periodically, with active periods interrupted by spontaneous remissions.
Can wake a person from sleep, and striking at a precise time of day each morning or night is typical, even precisely at the same time a week later.
Thank you for your response. I've wondered too about cluster headaches (I've researched those as well) and can definitely see why it is known as suicidal headache because I swear when it flares up I just want to take as many aspirins as possible - enough to knock me out not to feel the pain, although, not enough to overdose - it is truly 1000% worse than natural child birth! Is there anything that you can recommend that I do when I have these episodes once a year - maybe something that could ward them off or what it might be that makes them flare up - so I know to avoid whatever it might be?
Again, any help will be appreciated! Thank you very much!
The most common trigger for cluster headaches is the season during which the headache was experienced for the first time.
Most people have their cluster of headaches during same seasons every year, either in the spring or fall or the winter or summer.
During the cluster period, headache could be triggered only by a small amounts of alcohol and nicotine.
There can be some warning signs of the oncoming headache, like a feeling of discomfort or a mild one-sided burning sensation of the head.
In order to shorten the length of the headache period as well as decrease the severity of the headaches, cluster headache sufferer should take preventive medication as soon as possible.
Oxygen inhalation by facial mask and Sumatriptan (Imitrex) injections, are part of abortive treatment, used during the acute attack of cluster headache.
See neurologist familiar with treating cluster headaches!
You have described exactly what I am suffering from and why I am up and writing this at 4 am. I believe I have a strong pain threshold but was literally in tears this AM trying to cope with this pain. It has subsided over the last hour but even the lightest touch to the area of my neck just below my ear sends intense pain up my neck and into my head behind, in my case, my left eye.