Make Pain a Thing of the Past – headache – Physician Partners of America

Tag Archive for: headache

Headaches are a common ailment, but they can be quite debilitating. A bad headache can make it hard to do your job, drive your kids around or simply get through your day.

If one headache can cause such a disruption, a series of them can be even more difficult to deal with. If you get intense headaches that seem to come in a pattern, you may be dealing with cluster headaches.

What are Cluster Headaches?

Cluster headaches are recurring headaches that may come around each day on a weekly or even monthly basis. The pain of the headaches is often intense and may occur on one side of your head or near one of your eyes.

How Often do Cluster Headaches Occur?

The frequency of cluster headaches may vary. The clusters may hit for only a week or may continue for months. When the clusters pass, you may have months or possibly years of peace before they return.

Some people may experience cluster headaches on a seasonal basis, so it can be easy to mistake them for allergy-relatedheadaches if you are unfamiliar with them.

While the cluster period is going on, the headaches tend to take place each day, sometimes more than once a day. The headaches frequently happen at the same time of the day, often at night when you are in bed.

What are the Symptoms of Cluster Headaches?

Here are some of the symptoms that may accompany cluster headaches:

  • Intense pain, typically located near one eye, though they could impact other parts of your head, face, shoulders or neck
  • Teary eyes
  • Droopy eyelid
  • Red eyes on the side of a headache
  • Swollen eyes on the side of a headache
  • Feeling restless
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Flushed or pale face
  • Some sweating

What Causes Cluster Headaches?

Though the exact cause of cluster headaches is unknown, the nerves near your eye are believed to be a factor. That is why the pain is sometimes located near your eyes.

Men may be more likely to get these headaches. Though they may occur at any age, people usually get them between 20 and 50 years old.

Can Cluster Headaches Switch Sides?

Yes, it is possible for headaches to switch from one side of your head to another, though they tend to take place on one side most of the time.

What Happens After the Cluster Headaches Pass?

The pain may pass as quickly as it began. Though the pain should go away, it may leave you feeling really tired. These headaches can be an exhausting experience.

How are Cluster Headaches Treated?

Unless you plan on waiting until the cluster headaches pass, you should go to the doctor for treatment options. There are a number of possible treatments, from oxygen or local anesthetics to dihydroergotamine or triptans.

If you frequently suffer from headaches, your doctor can also help you with a preventative treatment option to help keep the headaches at bay.

Surgery is sometimes an option in extreme situations if other treatments are not working, though this is rare.

When confronted with a headache the first thought is to grab the nearest over-the-counter pain medication and wait for the pain to subside.

When that doesn’t work, you are faced with the question of what to do next.

Jonette Gozzola NP, a Dallas headache specialist, offers these Do’s and Don’ts for how to respond when a headache comes, and what next steps should be taken.


  • Seek competent medical evaluation. Migraines cause missed work, family activities and even cause problems in relationships
  • Recognize “triggers” that cause your migraines. Again, a trained clinician can help. Common triggers-stress, certain foods, sleep disturbance, weather changes
  • Keep a headache diary. Record level of intensity and frequency of all headaches.
  • Seek immediate emergency help for “’the worst headache I have ever had”


  • Overuse rescue medications. You need to be in control of headaches not be being controlled by headaches
  • Delay seeking a headache professional for guidance and appropriate medication
  • Seek more and stronger “pain” medication. It may be poison for the person with a migraine
  • Ignore signs of a growing problem-mood disruption, decreased cognitive function, muscle tension, excessive yawning, increasing frequency, and intensity

A migraine is a condition of the nervous system that can be serious and debilitating. It is not “just a headache”. Help is available for you to control this condition and take back your life. You are a valuable person who people love and appreciate! Let us help you get back to being you!

Migraine vs. Headache: What’s Causing Your Pain?

From pounding forehead pain and sinus inflammation to light sensitivity and nausea, a headache can put a halt to any day. Or…is it a migraine? Sometimes it’s not so easy to distinguish exactly what type of chronic headaches you are suffering from. Being able to identify a migraine headache from one of the other various types of headaches that exist can help you find the chronic pain relief that you need.

A Closer Look at the Different Types of Headaches

Painful Pressure of the Head: The Tension Headache

Causes: Stress, squinting, poor posture, clenching or grinding of the teeth, dehydration, and starvation

Symptoms: Forehead and upper neck pressure, feeling similar to having a band wrapped tightly around the head

Timeframe: Pain typically lasts anywhere from a few hours to a few days, with its severity ranging throughout that span of time

Cyclical Pain in One Area: The Cluster Headache

Causes: The causes of cluster headaches are unknown, but medication may trigger attacks

Symptoms: Severe pain behind one eye or on one side of the head, occurring at specific times of the day or of the year

Timeframe: Pain is often experienced in “clusters,” felt in and out throughout the span of a few days

Stuffiness, Runny Nose, and Pounding Pain: Sinus Headaches

Causes: Sinus headaches are caused by inflammation or infection of the sinuses, often a result of a cold or virus

Symptoms: Pain in the cheekbones, forehead, or nose, usually accompanied by a runny nose, congestion, or fever

Timeframe: A sinus headache generally lasts for as long as the sinuses are inflamed

Pain After Medication: The Rebound Headaches

Causes: Sensitivity to or overdose of a medication or painkiller

Symptoms: Pain typically feels similar to a tension headache, occurring a few hours after taking medication

Timeframe: Generally, pain is felt for as long as you take the medication that is causing them, and may continue for a few days after the medication is stopped

Reoccurring Throbbing, Sensitivity, and Nausea: Migraine

Causes: What causes migraine headaches remains unknown, although they are often associated with heredity or a sensitivity to light or smell

Symptoms: Throbbing pain in the head, sensitivity to light, nausea, blurred vision, and light-headedness

Timeframe: Migraine headaches can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days, many experiencing them at very specific times of day

There is no denying that any one of the above headaches can be undeniably painful, destroying your ability to enjoy any day. Fortunately, there are pain treatments available for each! Our skilled headache and migraine specialists in Dallas can help you identify what is causing your pain and offer alternative pain management solutions that will offer relief.

Discover what kind of a headache you may be suffering from and successfully manage its associated pain by scheduling an appointment with our headache and migraine specialists throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area! You may also contact us online or call us to find the pain management clinic nearest you.