Cluster Headaches

Cluster headaches are characterized by a specific type of pain and pattern of attacks. Keeping a headache journal is a great way to track the location, severity and duration of pain; medications; and possible headache triggers.

A physical exam may help your doctor detect signs of a cluster headache. One of your pupils may appear smaller than the other or your eyelid may droop.

If your doctor suspects a tumor or aneurysm, he or she may order one or more of the following tests:

  • Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan — A CT scan uses a thin X-ray beam that rotates around the area being examined. A computer processes data to construct a 3-D, cross-sectional image.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) — An MRI uses magnetism, radio waves and computer technology, rather than X-rays, to produce images of your brain. Under the right circumstances, MRI and other imaging procedures allows doctors to actually see how the larger structures in the brain are involved during migraine and headache.

Reviewed by health care specialists at UCSF Medical Center.

Related Information

UCSF Clinics & Centers

Neurology and Neurosurgery

Headache Center
2330 Post St., Sixth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94115
Phone: (415) 353-8393
Fax: (415) 353-9539
Appointment information

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