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Cluster headaches affect approximately one in 1,000 people across the world. They are not “headaches,” but rather attacks of severe, one-sided pain, which feels like an ice pick or hot poker being stabbed through the temple or eye. This incurable condition is a form of Trigeminal Autonomic Cephalalgia and classified by the government as nonconvulsive epilepsy. Cluster headache sufferers can be chronic or episodic, meaning some patients suffer up to a dozen short-lived attacks every day for years at a time, while others have them for weeks or months followed by a period of remission. The most effective treatment for cluster headaches is 100% high flow oxygen (12-15 liters per minute) through a non-rebreather mask.
This condition has been nicknamed “Suicide Headaches,” because the rate of suicide attempts is more than 20 times the national average among patients. This book aims to bring recognition to the isolation and immense amount of pain that comes with this disorder and hopes to help those struggling with cluster headaches find the right treatment and come to terms with the scope of the illness.
The information and opinions expressed in this book are based off numerous interviews, research studies, and personal experience.
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