Cluster headache is a chronic condition in which the patient suffers periodically from intensely painful headaches that may last from a few minutes to several hours.
Cluster headache affects about one adult in every 10001. It more often affects men in their 20s or older, and very often smokers2. Headaches usually occur in attacks lasting six to 12 weeks, once a year or every two years, often at the same time each year2.
Patients with cluster headache suffer intense pain and need rapid diagnosis and appropriate treatment from their neurologist or other experienced specialist. Most people need preventive treatment, but acute treatment is also important.
Medicinal oxygen, such as that marketed by Linde Healthcare, has been shown to be an effective acute treatment option for cluster headaches, when taken as early as possible at the onset of symptoms3.
1 Goadsby PJ. Treatment of cluster headache. www.americanheadachesociety.org
2 British Association for the Study of Headache. Guidelines for all professionals in the diagnosis and management of migraine, tension-type, cluster and medication-overuse headache. 2009. www.bash.org.uk
3 Cohen AS, Burns B, Goadsby PJ. High-flow oxygen for treatment of cluster headache: a randomised trial. JAMA 2009;302:2451-7