cluster headache

Cluster Headache Awareness Day

The First Annual Cluster Headache Awareness Day is Today, October 21st, 2017.

(Cluster Headache Awareness Day is observed in the UK on March 21st.)

Trigeminal Autonomic Cephalgia (TAC) literally means “trigeminal headache with autonomic nervous system features” and that is exactly what they are. TACs are a set of disabling primary headache and facial pain disorders characterized by unilateral, excruciating facial pain and autonomic dysfunction on the same side. While individual TACs share overlapping symptoms, each one generally responds to a specific treatment. Four of the TACs are covered at cluster headache, paroxysmal hemicrania, and SUNCT/SUNA.

The best known TAC condition is cluster headache. It was first described in 1939 as “Horton’s histamine headache,” so named after the researcher. It is a primary headache disorder characterized by recurrent attacks of severe unilateral pain, which usually involve the orbital or periorbital region which is served by the first (ophthalmic) division of the trigeminal nerve. The classic signs and symptoms that accompany the pain on the same side are:

  • tearing
  • red eye
  • nasal congestion or runny nose (or both)
  • droopy eyelid or pupil constriction (or both)
  • periorbital swelling

Episodic cluster headache: Attacks occurring in periods that last seven days to one year separated by pain-free periods that last one month or longer

Chronic cluster headache: Attacks that occur for more than one year without remission or with remissions that last less than one month

Raising awareness of this condition is an easy way to have a major impact. Cluster headache is not a common diagnosis, even within the facial pain community. You could very easily share this post on social media today, and reach someone who has cluster headache and had never heard of it before.

You could change a life today, and all you have to do is post the link to this post on Facebook.


There’s nothing quite like a short YouTube video to help spread knowledge of a condition. Feel free to use this one to educate your friends and family. YouTube videos can be shared online, in emails, and in text messages.

FACIAL PAIN FRIENDLY RECIPE For Cluster Headache Awareness Day

Tired of soups and need something you can eat with a fork for a change? Try this soft, broiled tilapia which is both flavorful and easy to prepare.

5-Ingredient Garlic Parmesan Tilapia

  • 4 tilapia fillets (about 8 ounces each)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Lemon wedges, for serving
  • Minced fresh parsley, for serving

Preheat oven to broil.

Place tilapia on a large, rimmed baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

Combine melted butter, lemon juice, and garlic powder in a small bowl. Brush the butter mixture on both sides of the fish.

Place the fish on the prepared baking sheet, bottom side up, and broil for 5 minutes. Flip the fish over, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and return to the broiler for 5-6 more minutes. The fish will flake easily with a fork when it’s done.

Garnish with lemon wedges and parsley.

Recipe courtesy of the The Food Network.