Cluster headache.. This is how it affects men and women differently.
One in 1,000 people worldwide suffer from cluster headaches, one of the most excruciating neurological diseases. Recurrent episodes of extreme pain on one side of the head, frequently localized near the eye area, are the source of cluster headaches.
Cluster headaches are thought to be a masculine ailment because men are two to five times more likely to have them; however, two new studies reported in Science Alert found that women are more likely to experience cluster headaches. The two studies found that women with cluster headaches experienced more daily impairment than men and were more likely to experience the chronic, more severe types of cluster headaches.
The women reported more frequent nocturnal headaches and cited lack of sleep as a trigger. Both studies noted that more female participants with cluster headaches reported sleeping less than five hours per night compared to male participants. It found that women were more likely to use prescription medications to manage cluster headache symptoms than men, and nearly 30 percent of the women in the study experienced migraines in addition to cluster headaches, compared to only about 13 percent of the male participants.
It is important that the gender differences in how cluster headaches present are well known so that clinicians can provide appropriate care to all patients with cluster headaches. Given the serious impact that cluster headaches can have on all aspects of a person's life and health, it is important to continue to raise awareness about the condition so that patients receive the help they need.