SUNCT Headache Information Page

SUNCT Headache Information Page


What research is being done?

The NINDS conducts a wide range of research on headache disorders. This research aims to discover ways to better diagnose, treat, and ultimately, prevent these disorders.

Information from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus
Headache

×
What research is being done?

The NINDS conducts a wide range of research on headache disorders. This research aims to discover ways to better diagnose, treat, and ultimately, prevent these disorders.

Information from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus
Headache

The NINDS conducts a wide range of research on headache disorders. This research aims to discover ways to better diagnose, treat, and ultimately, prevent these disorders.

Information from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus
Headache

Search Disorders

Definition
Definition
Treatment
Treatment
Prognosis
Prognosis
Clinical Trials
Clinical Trials
Organizations
Organizations
Publications
Publications
Definition
Definition

SUNCT-Short-lasting, Unilateral, Neuralgiform headache attacks with Conjunctival injection and Tearing-is a rare form of headache that is most common in men after age 50. The disorder is marked by bursts of moderate to severe burning, piercing, or throbbing pain, usually on one side of the head and around the eye or temple. The pain usually peaks within seconds of onset and may follow a pattern of increasing and decreasing intensity.  Attacks typically occur in daytime hours and last from 5 seconds to 4 minutes per episode. Individuals generally have five to six attacks per hour.

Autonomic nervous system responses include watery eyes, reddish or bloodshot eyes caused by dilation of blood vessels (conjunctival injection), nasal congestion, runny nose, sweaty forehead, swelling of the eyelids, and increased pressure within the eye on the affected side of head. Systolic blood pressure may rise during the attacks. Movement of the neck may trigger these headaches. SUNCT may be a form of trigeminal neuralgia and is considered one of the trigeminal autonomic cephalgias, or TACs.

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Definition

SUNCT-Short-lasting, Unilateral, Neuralgiform headache attacks with Conjunctival injection and Tearing-is a rare form of headache that is most common in men after age 50. The disorder is marked by bursts of moderate to severe burning, piercing, or throbbing pain, usually on one side of the head and around the eye or temple. The pain usually peaks within seconds of onset and may follow a pattern of increasing and decreasing intensity.  Attacks typically occur in daytime hours and last from 5 seconds to 4 minutes per episode. Individuals generally have five to six attacks per hour.

Autonomic nervous system responses include watery eyes, reddish or bloodshot eyes caused by dilation of blood vessels (conjunctival injection), nasal congestion, runny nose, sweaty forehead, swelling of the eyelids, and increased pressure within the eye on the affected side of head. Systolic blood pressure may rise during the attacks. Movement of the neck may trigger these headaches. SUNCT may be a form of trigeminal neuralgia and is considered one of the trigeminal autonomic cephalgias, or TACs.

Treatment
Treatment

These headaches are generally non-responsive to usual treatment for other short-lasting headaches. Corticosteroids and the anti-epileptic drugs gabapentin, lamotrigine, and carbamazepine may help relieve some symptoms in some patients. Studies have shown that injections of glycerol to block nerve signaling along the trigeminal nerve may provide temporary relief in some severe cases, but the headaches recurred in about 40 percent of individuals studied.

×
Treatment

These headaches are generally non-responsive to usual treatment for other short-lasting headaches. Corticosteroids and the anti-epileptic drugs gabapentin, lamotrigine, and carbamazepine may help relieve some symptoms in some patients. Studies have shown that injections of glycerol to block nerve signaling along the trigeminal nerve may provide temporary relief in some severe cases, but the headaches recurred in about 40 percent of individuals studied.

Definition
Definition

SUNCT-Short-lasting, Unilateral, Neuralgiform headache attacks with Conjunctival injection and Tearing-is a rare form of headache that is most common in men after age 50. The disorder is marked by bursts of moderate to severe burning, piercing, or throbbing pain, usually on one side of the head and around the eye or temple. The pain usually peaks within seconds of onset and may follow a pattern of increasing and decreasing intensity.  Attacks typically occur in daytime hours and last from 5 seconds to 4 minutes per episode. Individuals generally have five to six attacks per hour.

Autonomic nervous system responses include watery eyes, reddish or bloodshot eyes caused by dilation of blood vessels (conjunctival injection), nasal congestion, runny nose, sweaty forehead, swelling of the eyelids, and increased pressure within the eye on the affected side of head. Systolic blood pressure may rise during the attacks. Movement of the neck may trigger these headaches. SUNCT may be a form of trigeminal neuralgia and is considered one of the trigeminal autonomic cephalgias, or TACs.

Treatment
Treatment

These headaches are generally non-responsive to usual treatment for other short-lasting headaches. Corticosteroids and the anti-epileptic drugs gabapentin, lamotrigine, and carbamazepine may help relieve some symptoms in some patients. Studies have shown that injections of glycerol to block nerve signaling along the trigeminal nerve may provide temporary relief in some severe cases, but the headaches recurred in about 40 percent of individuals studied.

Prognosis
Prognosis

There is no cure for these headaches. The disorder is not fatal but can cause considerable discomfort.

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There is no cure for these headaches. The disorder is not fatal but can cause considerable discomfort.

Prognosis
Prognosis

There is no cure for these headaches. The disorder is not fatal but can cause considerable discomfort.

Definition

SUNCT-Short-lasting, Unilateral, Neuralgiform headache attacks with Conjunctival injection and Tearing-is a rare form of headache that is most common in men after age 50. The disorder is marked by bursts of moderate to severe burning, piercing, or throbbing pain, usually on one side of the head and around the eye or temple. The pain usually peaks within seconds of onset and may follow a pattern of increasing and decreasing intensity.  Attacks typically occur in daytime hours and last from 5 seconds to 4 minutes per episode. Individuals generally have five to six attacks per hour.

Autonomic nervous system responses include watery eyes, reddish or bloodshot eyes caused by dilation of blood vessels (conjunctival injection), nasal congestion, runny nose, sweaty forehead, swelling of the eyelids, and increased pressure within the eye on the affected side of head. Systolic blood pressure may rise during the attacks. Movement of the neck may trigger these headaches. SUNCT may be a form of trigeminal neuralgia and is considered one of the trigeminal autonomic cephalgias, or TACs.

Treatment

These headaches are generally non-responsive to usual treatment for other short-lasting headaches. Corticosteroids and the anti-epileptic drugs gabapentin, lamotrigine, and carbamazepine may help relieve some symptoms in some patients. Studies have shown that injections of glycerol to block nerve signaling along the trigeminal nerve may provide temporary relief in some severe cases, but the headaches recurred in about 40 percent of individuals studied.

Prognosis

There is no cure for these headaches. The disorder is not fatal but can cause considerable discomfort.

What research is being done?

The NINDS conducts a wide range of research on headache disorders. This research aims to discover ways to better diagnose, treat, and ultimately, prevent these disorders.

Information from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus
Headache

Patient Organizations
American Headache Society Committee for Headache Education (ACHE)
19 Mantua Road
Mt. Royal
NJ
Mt. Royal, NJ 08061
Tel: 856-423-0043
National Headache Foundation
820 N. Orleans
Suite 411
Chicago
IL
Chicago, IL 60610-3132
Tel: 312-274-2650; 888-NHF-5552 (643-5552)
Publications

Information about headaches, including migraines, compiled by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).

Patient Organizations