The exact causes for the cluster headaches are not clearly known. Most doctors and researchers conclude that the cluster headaches are due to the abnormalities in hypothalamus region of the brain.
The hypothalamus causes release of a certain chemical that stimulates the nerves to cause pain. The release of this chemical is triggered by some hormones in the body. The occurrence of the cluster headaches in regular trend is due to this hypothalamus as it acts as a biological clock.
Hyperactivity of this biological clock causes cluster headaches.
The other factors that cause these headaches are hormones and neurotransmitters.
During the period of clusters the patients have abnormal level of certain hormones. This could increase the headaches.
Changes in the chemical level can trigger the some neurotransmitters that send impulses to the brain that can aggravate the headaches.
Cluster headaches are not triggered by food or stress or changes in the environment.
But during the cluster headaches period, these could play a role in increasing the headache.
For example when in the cluster period patients consuming alcohol, they can get headaches more often. The alcohol increases these headaches due to abnormal levels of hormones and neurotransmitters.
Patients are very likely to react to environmental factors during the cluster period. Environmental factors like extreme heat, strong perfumes or loud noise etc. It is wise to stay away from these factors during the cluster period.
Researchers say that so far there been no evidence that clusters are hereditary or a genetic disorder.
The cluster headaches can attack anyone of any age. But recent studies show that men are more susceptible to get an attack than women.