Microsoft word - cluster headaches.doc

powerless to help, is very upsetting. Second, no-one is keen to be seen in a state where they will scream, cry, A note for those who know a C.H. sufferer pace, hit their head repeatedly and generally be uncontrollable - dignity does matter. (I heard from Someone has probably given you this note to explain a someone recently who went to their local hospital, where little about a condition they suffer from called cluster they were not treated with medication, but in fact headaches. It is likely that before you met them, you institutionalised for three days because of their extreme had never heard of this condition, which, after all, affects behaviour.) Finally, coping with the attack is wearing in fewer than 1% of the population. 69 in 100,000. Men are the extreme, and having to cope with other people more frequently affected than women, probably by In addition, the cumulative effects of repeated attacks, Because it is so rare, sufferers often feel isolated, and the medications used, can lead to tiredness, especially through misunderstanding by those who do not irritability, and an occasional loss of temper (particularly fully appreciate its effects. This short explanation, written when it is suggested that things can't possibly be that by a fellow sufferer, is intended to help with that. bad). Depression is quite common. Some individuals lose their jobs, and even partners and homes, as a result of C.H. That said, because having to cope is part of the nature of the condition, most sufferers will "get along" - It is a neurological condition which manifests itself as they have to be quite strong to survive. extreme pain, on one side of the head. It is frequently accompanied by some or all of: Most can be helped by medication, but, because the cause of the illness is unknown there is no cure. Those on medication take (generally large quantities of) pain-killing and preventative drugs. These often mask or reduce the - changes in the pupil of the affected side, symptoms, but, to my knowledge, never remove them. It should be noted here that doctors are often poorly The attacks are relatively short (2-3 hours), with a very informed about C.H., and misdiagnosis is very common. rapid onset. They tend to occur several times a day, Some GPs are reluctant to prescribe certain drugs, even There are two types of the condition, episodic and chronic. In the episodic form, the attacks occur in a bout lasting several weeks (8 – 12), after which they disappear for around a month. This is where the name cluster When an attack hits, nothing. The best thing is to stay headache comes from. Chronic sufferers do not get this well away. Afterwards, a quiet word is probably a good relief, and their attacks can continue daily for many years idea. You may find the sufferer will talk about what he goes through if you ask - he may appreciate the A curiosity of C.H. is that both the individual attacks and the clusters themselves can have an almost metronomic If you are interested, you might like to visit regularity - attacks starting at a precise time of day is where your friend is It is a headache, in that the pain is in the head, but that is really where the similarity ends. The name itself leads to confusion, as people immediately think of it as Most sufferers are happy to discuss how things affect something that can be cured by taking a pill, or by them, and how you can best help them, but you will find thinking of it as a migraine. As one who has had both your conversations very short if you say any of the conditions, clusters are nothing like migraine. Those bald facts, though, do not do justice to the pain "I had one of those once" - no-one ever has one cluster experienced. It is stated, by neurologists who deal with the condition, to be the most severe pain experienced "My aunt has migraine too" - migraine is nothing like by human beings - certainly female sufferers say that it is more painful than childbirth. Try and imagine giving "Can't you just take a tablet and lie down?" - no is the birth three or more times a day, possibly for several answer, most sufferers cannot lie down during an attack years, and you may get some idea of what it is like. A "Just pull yourself together and work through it" - more sinister name for it is suicide headache - for obvious suggest that, and step back several paces! reasons. More than half of all sufferers have considered this, and, sadly, I know of at least three who have been This is not rudeness, but simply the result of experience. driven to it in the last eighteen months. Sufferers know that sometimes it is simply better to ignore remarks such as these and leave the person in ignorance. If you have read this far, though, that This will vary enormously. Sufferers are reluctant to allow anyone else to see them at that point, I suspect for three reasons. First, with family and friends, it is simply to avoid them having to see something which, as they are Cluster headaches. Cluster headaches, named for their When the hypothalamus malfunctions, thyroid problems, repeated occurrence over weeks or months at roughly the cluster headaches, and sleeping, eating, or reproductive same time of day or night in clusters, begin as a minor pain around one eye, eventually spreading to that side of The sudden start and brief duration of cluster headaches the face. The pain quickly intensifies, compelling the can make them difficult to treat; however, research victim to pace the floor or rock in a chair. "You can't lie scientists have identified several effective drugs for these down, you're fidgety," explains a cluster patient. "The pain headaches. The antimigraine drug sumatriptan can is unbearable." Other symptoms include a stuffed and subdue a cluster, if taken at the first sign of an attack. runny nose and a droopy eyelid over a red and tearing Injections of dihydroergotamine, a form of ergotamine tartrate, are sometimes used to treat clusters. Cluster headaches last between 30 and 45 minutes. But Corticosteroids also can be used, either orally or by the relief people feel at the end of an attack is usually mixed with dread as they await a recurrence. Clusters Some cluster patients can prevent attacks by taking may mysteriously disappear for months or years. Many propranolol, methysergide, valproic acid, verapamil, or people have cluster bouts during the spring and fall. At their worst, chronic cluster headaches can last Another option that works for some cluster patients is rapid inhalation of pure oxygen through a mask for 5 to 15 Cluster attacks can strike at any age but usually start minutes. The oxygen seems to ease the pain of cluster between the ages of 20 and 40. Unlike migraine, cluster headache by reducing blood flow to the brain. In chronic cases of cluster headache, certain facial nerves Studies of cluster patients show that they are likely to may be surgically cut or destroyed to provide relief. These have hazel eyes and that they tend to be heavy smokers procedures have had limited success. Some cluster and drinkers. Paradoxically, both nicotine, which patients have had facial nerves cut only to have them constricts arteries, and alcohol, which dilates them, trigger cluster headaches. The exact connection between these substances and cluster attacks is not known. Despite a cluster headache's distinguishing characteristics, its relative infrequency and similarity to such disorders as sinusitis can lead to misdiagnosis. Some cluster patients have had tooth extractions, sinus surgery, or psychiatric treatment in futile efforts to cure their pain. Other research studies have turned up several clues as to the cause of cluster headache, but no answers. One clue is found in the thermograms of untreated cluster patients, which show a "cold spot" of reduced blood flow above the eye. The cause of cluster headaches is unknown. They may be genetic, since people whose parents or siblings have cluster headaches are at more risk for developing Cluster headaches may be caused by a problem in an area of the brain called the hypothalamus. This area of the brain seems to be more active in people who have cluster headaches. The hypothalamus is a region of the brain that regulates sleep cycles, body temperature, pituitary gland activity, and other autonomic nervous system functions.


Microsoft word - gesundheitsbote briefkopf neu.doc

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