Ice Water Treatment during attack

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Posted by Randy Vosler ( on October 08, 1999 at 18:00:24:

I only add this since I didn't see "my" treatment anywhere.

Background: I've had episodic clusters for 21 years, with 6 - 24 month remissions between "standard" 4-6 week, 1-2 per day "bouts." About 15 years ago I accidentally discovered what has now become my "normal" treatment during an attack.

I sip ice water. That is, I fill the cheek on the headache side with water, and let it gradually drain down my throat with little, continual swallows, "sucking" it through my back teeth. (I first thought it might help since an "ice cream headache" felt so similar, and since the cold should help constrict the dilated vessels.) In any event, by the time a full-blown attack is over, I may have consumed a gallon or two of ice water, which leads to mild hypothermia (well, the shakes at least), not to mention to severe bloating and regular visits to the bathroom for the next hour or two.

NOTE: This "treatment" often "kills" the attack if it's caught at the first hint of that "itch" that signals the coming of "the beast." If the attack reaches "full strength," then the ice water at least mitigates it enough to prevent suicidal urges, but usually doesn't stop it....instead, it keeps things "livable" through the length of the attack. One other thing, sometimes the long cold will leave me with a "sinus-headache-like" post-effect, which is noticeably different from the CH, but still painful. Often, an over-the-counter anti-histamine will clear that up to a very mild "rawness," which is not pleasant, but better than a full attack.

If this ice water "treatment" doesn't keep the beast away, it at least seems to cage him a bit. For me anyway.

Best regards,


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