The exact cause of cluster headaches is unknown. Certain evidence indicates that changes in the blood vessels walls of the head may lead to cluster headaches. There are several well-known triggers associated with cluster headaches, these include drugs that dilate or constrict blood vessels and alcohol. Some studies show that a low level of endorphins may cause frequent, severe, or chronic headache pain. Endorphins are described as painkilling compounds found in the brain.
Changes in barometric pressure and altitude, inclement weather, such as heavy rain or snow, and high winds are environmental factors that may lead to cluster headaches in some people.
The goal of treatment of cluster headaches is to lessen the severe, sometimes unbearable, pain during the headache, as well as to shorten the cluster episode. Acute treatment medications are similar to those used for migraine and include:
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