The Difference Between A Cluster Headache And A Migraine

Whats the difference between migraine headaches and cluster headaches?

Cluster headaches are attacks of severe pain lasting 15-180 minutes and occurring from once every other day up to eight times in one day.

Cluster headaches are characterized by a sharp, penetrating, or burning pain affecting one side of the head. The pain often appears suddenly with little warning and often occurs in and around one eye or in the temple. The excruciating pain related to a cluster headache is often compared to the sensation of a hot poker being stuck in the eye. Others compare it to the feeling of the eye being pushed out of its socket. The condition may also produce a number of other symptoms including tearing of the eyes and nasal congestion.

Migraine headaches usually have other signs and symptoms, like nausea, light sensitivity, maybe seeing colors before it hits, sensitivity to noise. The pain of a cluster headache commences quickly, without warning, and reaches a crescendo within 2 to 15 minutes. It is often excruciating in intensity, and is deep, nonfluctuating, and explosive in quality; only occasionally is it pulsatile. In addition, 10 to 20 percent of patients report superimposed paroxysms of stabbing, icepick-like pains in the periorbital region that last for a few seconds and may occur once or several times in rapid succession.