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Types of Cluster Headaches

Topic Overview

There are 2 types of cluster headaches:

  • Episodic cluster headaches are the most common type of cluster headaches. People with episodic cluster headaches have cluster periods of 1 to 3 months when they are prone to having headaches. The cluster periods are followed by headache-free periods (remissions) of 6 months or more. About 90 out of 100 people who have cluster headaches have episodic cluster headaches.1
  • Chronic cluster headaches are those that occur during a period of at least 12 months without a headache-free period (remission) or when remissions last less than one month.2 About 10 out of 100 people who have cluster headaches have chronic cluster headaches.1

Related Information

References

Citations

  1. Evans RW (2009). Headache. In EG Nabel, ed., ACP Medicine, section 11, chap. 8. Hamilton, ON: BC Decker.
  2. Headache Classification Subcommittee of the International Headache Society (2004). International classification of headache disorders: 2nd ed. Cephalalgia, 24(Suppl 1): 9–160.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Colin Chalk, MD, CM, FRCPC - Neurology
Last Revised January 27, 2012

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