Some general symptoms:
- Unilateral (one side only) affected. Typically, in or around the eye.
- Eye watering on affected side
- runny nose on affected side
- They occur in clusters (thus the name), typically on a schedule. Many refer to them as alarm clock headaches because of this latter bit. They will occur every day (often multiple times a day) at about the same time each day, over the course of days, weeks, or months.
- The pain. As bad as migraines are, Cluster Headaches are worse. This is really hard for those who suffer from migraines to grasp because migraines are pretty freaking awful on their own.
I'm extremely light sensitive even on a good day. I've noticed the last week or so as the days are getting longer that the light sensitivity is getting worse. Even with my extra dark glasses on the light seeps in at the corners and hurts. In the few years since these headaches have started the cycles of clusters have typically hit around the same time of year, not-quite-Spring and not-quite-Fall, when it's getting dark at about 6pm. One of the theories on the cause for Cluster headaches is the hypothalamus and a disturbance in the Circadian rhythms and biological clock, which makes sense to me.
Check out one of my Twitter friend's post on Cluster Headaches here.