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Forum Name: Headaches

Question: Nightly unilateral headaches


 mammalamma - Tue Jan 06, 2009 12:58 pm

Since 12/30/08 I have been having pain on the right side of my face and head every night starting about 10:00 p.m. and ending about 8:00 a.m. The pain is centered behind my right eye and radiates to my right ear and right jaw. My lower lip has tingling nerve pain. The pain is great enough to keep me awake all night, even with ibuprofen or tylenol. I think I may be experiencing cluster headaches, but the severity of pain (only moderate) and the duration (10 hour headaches) seem unusual for cluster headaches. Please advise me. Thank you very much.
 John Kenyon, CNA - Mon Feb 16, 2009 10:28 pm

User avatar Hello -

Your description of the symptoms very closely approximates those of cluster headaches, with the exception, as noted, of the duration and severity. This could be an atypical presentation of the classic cluster syndrome, or it could be something else masquerading as virtually the same thing. The fact that cluster headache pain is usually described as a "pushing out" from behind the eye on the affected side, the regular timing of cluster headaches, etc., strongly argue for atypical cluster or histamine headaches or something similar caused by irritation of the trigeminal (5th cranial) nerve. I strongly suspect you're experiencing a variation on this theme, with less than "worse pain ever experienced" headache, but spread over longer periods of time. Evaluation by a neurologist would probably be the most expedient route to relief for this, and could also rule out some unlikely oddball cause. The timing and location certainly do agree with the cluster phenomenon whereas an aneurysmal dilation would cause the pain around the clock.

I hope this is helpful. Please follow up with us as needed. Good luck to you.

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