Cluster headache is among the most painful disorders that exist, and it’s an illness of the brain that can affect one in 1000 people around the world.
The condition is characterized by frequent attacks of intense pain on one side the head, typically in the eye region. The duration of the attacks ranges from 15 minutes and 3 hours and could even occur several times during the day. They can also occur at night and they are more frequent in spring and fall.
The reason for the illness is still unknown and there is no cure. The treatments that are available for treating cluster headaches are specifically designed to treat other illnesses, therefore their effectiveness isn’t optimal and treatment outcomes may vary for every individual.
Cluster headache was traditionally thought to be a problem for males because it’s thought to be between two and five times more prevalent among males. Two recent studies we’ve published have shown that, while men might be somewhat more likely to experience cluster headaches, women tend to be more affected by the condition.
The most recently completed research on cluster headaches We compared the way the condition affected both men and women.
We enlisted 575 males and 299 women and we asked them to complete an assessment of the symptoms they experienced, what medications they were taking along with their lifestyle choices and the triggers for their headaches.
We observed that women suffering from cluster headaches had more difficulty in their everyday lives than males. They were two times more likely experience the severe, chronic form of the headache, which affected about 17% of the females who took part.
Chronic cluster headache is when they are able to endure three months a year without symptoms. Women have also reported having longer periods of active headache (in certain cases, years of constant headaches) in comparison to men.
Women reported more frequent attacks of headaches during the night and said that insufficient sleep may be the trigger for attacks. Additionally, we observed that more female patients who suffered from cluster headaches were sleeping less than 5 hours per night than male participants.
Our research also showed females were much more likely take prescribed medications to treat the effects of headaches caused by clusters when compared to males. We also found that nearly 30 percent of the women participating in the study experienced migraine as well as cluster headaches, as opposed to just 13 percent of male participants.
In a separate study we recently published We used the populations registers to gather information about healthcare visits as well as absences from work or study due to health concerns.
This enabled us to comprehend the effect of cluster headaches in comparison to the rest of the population. We examined a total of 3,239 individuals suffering from cluster headache, and assessed them against 16,200 who did not suffer from the condition.
Our study revealed that the majority of women suffering from cluster headache also had other health issues. By contrast, only 90% of women with no cluster headache had other health issues.
But those with cluster headaches are more likely be afflicted with physical injuries than other group. But, the study could not gather specific information on what types of health conditions or physical injuries were.
Additionally, we found that those with cluster headaches who had multiple health issues are more likely be absent from work due to illness or even retire early due to disabilities. Cluster headache sufferers were twice as likely to have a sick absence and were had a shorter retirement time as compared to both males with cluster headache, and those who didn’t suffer from cluster headache.
Based on the findings of both research, it’s evident that the time is now to put aside the notion of Cluster headaches as being solely a masculine condition and think about the unique impact it has on females. It’s crucial that gender differences in the way that cluster headache symptoms manifest are recognized to ensure that GPs are able to provide appropriate treatment to everyone suffering from cluster headache.
While it is clear from our study the impact of cluster headaches can impact a person’s lives It is important for future research to utilize different methods of study to guarantee more accuracy and determine if women and men react to treatment in a different way.
It is also important to determine if certain diseases are more prevalent in those who suffer from cluster headaches when compared with the general population.
Patients suffering from cluster headaches can wait for up to 10 years before receiving a correct diagnosis. They are then denied having access to treatment or method to manage their disorder.
Because of the devastating impact the condition can have on every aspect of a person’s daily life and health, as demonstrated by our studies, it’s vital to keep educating people about the problem to ensure patients get the assistance they require.
Andrea Carmine Belin, Associate Professor of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet and Caroline Ran, Researcher, Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet
This article was republished by The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Check out The Conversation’s original piece.
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