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Cluster Headache Help and Support >> Cluster Headache Specific >> Blowing nose as a trigger?

Message started by Vidster on Apr 5th, 2019 at 5:39am

Title: Blowing nose as a trigger?
Post by Vidster on Apr 5th, 2019 at 5:39am
Hi folks

After approximately 6 months of wrong diagnosis (sinusitis migraine, mostly) I am finally welcomed among the CH sufferers. Not that I really was looking forward to that, mind you  :D

So my story in short is that I started having those massive bouts of headaches - like someone was hammering a burning nail through my eyebrow into my eye. Y'all know the feeling so I won't keep going!

They kept telling me it was migraine but the interesting part is that absolutely no migraine medicine had had any sort of effect, nor did painkillers, even the obscenely potent ones. The only one that worked once that I was really desperate and suicidal in the hospital was morphine but dude, can't pop morphine like candy.

I have been ok for a while, now they are back. As I'm writing, as a matter of fact, I am having one massive bout and am struggling to look at the monitor or hold focus.

The weird part is now: I have a chronic sinusitis (that's where the misdiagnosis came from) and each time I blow my nose, I can feel the CH creeping in and exploding after a 30-minutes crescendo.
The last 4 bouts have followed this exact blueprint. I feel mighty fine - stuffy nose - blow my nose - after a few seconds I feel tingling on the eyebrow - here we go again.

This is madness - I can't resist without blowing my nose and I know that when I blow my nose it IS going to happen.
I have researched around and I haven't found much on the matter. Is it "normal"? Is there a way to cope? Might it be that I am applying pressure on the blood vessels when I blow my nose thus triggering the bout?
I am terrorized about blowing my nose now. And with sinusitis, it is the worst feeling.

I'll go walk up and down the living room now waiting for the headache to subside. It's been around 100 minutes now. I have one last shot of sumatriptan and I don't wanna use it now. I'm keeping it in case I get a CH during the night.

Hi, btw, and thanks for the attention!

Title: Re: Blowing nose as a trigger?
Post by AussieBrian on Apr 5th, 2019 at 7:04am
G'day,  Vidster,  and welcome to the club no-one wants to join.

I know exactly what you mean about the nose-blowing thing,  sheer terror,  and the only way I found was to hang my head under a super-hot shower and let nature  (and gravity)  take its course.

Good luck,  and always let us know how you're getting on,

Brian down under.

Title: Re: Blowing nose as a trigger?
Post by Vidster on Apr 5th, 2019 at 8:43am
Oh so it *is* a thing. Odd that I didn't find almost a hit on google.

Sorry to hear that Brian, I hope you are coping with it.
Do you think that being extremely "gentle" when blowing the nose can avoid it? Have you tried it? I was thinking about using salt water spray to make the whole thing more loose and then blowing as softly as I could.

Dang this thing is crazy. I blew my nose at 8:30 AM and now, 2:40 PM, it's still hurting, although the worst has gone. Too much of a punishment for a simple nose-blow.

Thanks for your answer!

Title: Re: Blowing nose as a trigger?
Post by Mike NZ on Apr 5th, 2019 at 9:32pm
Whilst it may be a more unusual trigger, looking at the different branches of the trigeminal nerve gives a clue as to a possible explanation.
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There are some branches of this nerve in the nose (look for all of the yellow lines) and I suspect that blowing your nose is irritating this branch of the nerve and it is enough to kick off the CH.

I'd certainly try options of avoiding blowing it hard to see if that helps.

Following the other branches link to areas where people frequently experience CH symptoms like the eyes, nose and teeth.

Title: Re: Blowing nose as a trigger?
Post by Vidster on Apr 7th, 2019 at 7:51pm
Thanks man - your explaination is pretty plausible.

Btw I have found something that works for me, and I'm quite sure that there are a few CH fellas that are suffering of sinusitis.

I went to the doc and he asked me to try a medicine whose active ingredient is fenylpropanolaminhydroklorid (phew!) - called "Rinexin" here in Norway. Recept only.
It basically expands mucous tissues in the nose making it much easier to breathe - up to a point where nasal spray *can* be mostly avoided! And for someone like me who has struggled with sinusitis for more than 30y this is almost a miracle.
Now I almost never have stuffy nose and when I do, it's super easy to blow it as the nose is so free.

And I have reduced CH attacks because of it. Sheer victory.
Go to your doc and ask if you are eligible! :D

Title: Re: Blowing nose as a trigger?
Post by Batch on Apr 9th, 2019 at 3:02am
Hey Vidster,

Uff da!  CH is a bummer!  Your consolation is you live in God's country, Tromsų, Norway. Unfortunately, you live so far North you don't get enough direct sunlight so you're likely vitamin D3 deficient and that deficiency contributes to the frequency, severity and duration of your CH...

I've never been that far North in Norway, but in 2009, I had the pleasure of driving from Oslo across the Telemark, down to Sauda, around the North end of Sandsfjorden and Sandeidfjorden, then out to the coast to Haugesund.  As a kid who grew up in the Puget Sound area of Washington State near Paulsbo and Silverdale.  Being around that much water and that many Norwegians felt like home... 

I was a guest speaker at a Clustercompagniet conference there in Haugesund making a presentation of the use of an oxygen demand valve as a rapid and reliable CH abortive.  I've moved on since then satisfied I'd found a very safe and effective method of oxygen therapy as a CH abortive to researching an equally safe and effective CH preventative.

In 2010 I finally developed what I call the anti-inflammatory regimen.  It's a combination of off the shelf vitamins and minerals including 10,000 IU/day vitamin D3, 400 mg/day magnesium, 1200 mg/day Omega-3 fish oil, an adult 50+ mature multi and vitamin K2.  This regimen has proven to be a very safe, effective, and inexpensive CH preventative.  To download a copy, click on the following link at VitaminDWiki. 

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You can visit my webpage there at VitaminDWiki at the following link.  START PRINTPAGEMultimedia File Viewing and Clickable Links are available for Registered Members only!!  You need to Login or RegisterEND PRINTPAGE You can also go to a post I made here at titled Anti-Inflammatory Vitamin D3 Regimen and Survey in the Medications, Treatments and Therapy section...  This thread has been viewed 75,626 times since I posted it on 16 December, 2011.

When you've downloaded a copy of this treatment protocol and decided to start it, take a copy to your PCP/GP or neurologist to discuss when you ask for labs of your serum 25(OH)D, calcium and PTH.  The lab results for your serum 25(OH)D will confirm you're vitamin D3 deficient, i.e., less than 75 nmol/L (30 ng/mL).  The other two labs will serve as baseline biomarkers to track your progress as you elevate your 25(OH)D serum concentration up around 200 nmol/L (80 ng/mL)... and in the process, prevent your CH.

If you have any questions, you know were to find me.   I'm here to help.

Take care and please keep us posted.

V/R, Batch

Title: Re: Blowing nose as a trigger?
Post by maz on Apr 10th, 2019 at 11:29am
Hi vidster, and welcome.

You say no migraine meds have worked, but have you tried sumatryptan ( also known as imigran or imitrex).  This is basically a migraine med, but works a treat for CH, and is the "go to" med for most.

The tablets take too long to get into your system so are pretty useless, but there is a nasal spray and auto injections too.  I use the injections and it stops the worst attack in 5 - 7 minutes.

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