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Anyone switch sides?


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Like what?  Can you explain please?  Maybe someone, or several someones, have had similar experiences and can relate their experiences and help put any concerns you have to rest.  I hope so...

Hi Gail  [smiley=vrolijk_26.gif]

As with anything CH related, it's difficult to explain I guess.  The symptoms continue today as well.  This would make it nearly 4 straight days now.

I am normally a "righty" .... but for the last few days the hair on the left side of my head hurts and everything is tight.  Very vague I know, but thats about as good as I can explain it.

It's only on the left side, and it feels like every one of my hairs is a needle stuck into my scalp.  If the wind blows my hair, or I rub my hand through it, I can feel each individual "needle" moving back and forth in my head.  And the entire left side of my face/head feels "tight".... like my skin is slowly being shrink wrapped around that side.

It's something that I have only experienced on the right side before (usually in the aftermath of an attack) and I was just wondering if that could be a warning that things might be switching sides? 

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Mine does, all the time.

the left side of my body is more sensitive, and more dominate. When I get hit on the left side, they are always 10 times worse than on the right. But thankfully 70%, maybe 60% are on the right.

Sometimes I'll get hit, have a very short pause as the pain eases, then get hit on the other side worse. Or it'll start behind my ear, move through my temple to my forehead. Most of the time they are in my eye socket, but not always. Temple, forehead, eye ball.  I never know where, how painful or how long for. 1 minute, 5, 10, 30, an hour or any in between. Nor do I know the time of day, but rarely at night. 5 or 10% at night, maybe.

One of the most random things in my life.


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It's scary, I know. 

I was an left-sided episodic beginning at age 15.  Average cycle return was about 12-18 months.  I was diagnosed right away (contrary to many)...and had an old cuss for a neuro.  He told me "The good news is you're young so you should grow out of these in you 30's or 40's."

At age 39 I went through a 5 month cycle and when it was over, it was just like any other cycle ending.  Nothing notable.  Kaput, over.  When it was time for my next cycle, NO SHOW!  9 full years of remission!  I totally believed the old cuss was right.

In 2008, it jumped sides but I argued with my updated neuro for months because I didn't have a single attack, just nerve pain or shadows from hell.  It took nearly 5 months before I actually had an attack.  I was a right-sided chronic up until 164 days ago.  xox

I think it was a standard "hope" line they fed many back in the day, who knows?  Updated neuro wouldn't confirm when I asked.  Good old boys club, I guess. 

This place is far more hopeful, IMHO. 

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In 2008, it jumped sides but I argued with my updated neuro for months because I didn't have a single attack, just nerve pain or shadows from hell.  It took nearly 5 months before I actually had an attack.  I was a right-sided chronic up until 164 days ago. 

Thank you very much for sharing.  But unfortunately your experience leads me to believe that it could be switching on me :(

If I switched to the left and went episodic that might make it bearable .... but if I stay chronic and go to a lefty???  Brings tears to my eyes.  :'(

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I have only experienced a switch one time and it was for just a single cluster.

May I ask why it matters if its one side or the other.

Have i missed something.


Did you have any notice, or did it just switch with no warning?

I am right handed, right footed, right side CH, horners with the small right pupil..... I am definitely more right side dominant all the way around.  The left side of my entire body is the "sissy side".  After 2+ years of chronic right side attacks, I have accustomed myself to it.

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My personal experience: 

I have always switched sides since onset 37 years ago.  Always episodic, I used to get 2 cycles a year like clockwork and they would usually alternate sides but I never knew for certain which side was coming next.   Have had several  cycles start on one side and shift to the other mid-cycle and once even changed back to the side of onset, all in my typical 10 weeks cycles. 

Recent years have seen a dramatic decrease in frequency of cycles and I'm currently in a 2-year remission (and counting!) which I attribute to regular preventative treatments.

I have never found much of a difference for which side they are on, the cycle duration and  frequency and intensity of each individual attack remained relatively the same.  As did my ability to abort an attack with oxygen, regardless of which side they were on.  In the last 10 or so years there are slightly more cycles on the left but I don't think it's significant.

For me, it doesn't seem to matter and I try not to worry about what could be as I can't change it and attempts at anticipation doesn't help with my 'tude.  KWIM.

Good luck.


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b.g. you might find the results of the recently posted Clusterheadache.com survey interesting.....seems you're not alone :)

"This cluster headaches survey was conducted from May 23, 1999 thru Jan 20, 2013 and was completed by more than 12,000 cluster headache sufferers." 

Scroll down to "Click this button......" tab


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In my twenty five years of clusters, I've had one that switched sides. I think the pain level was just as high, but I could handle the pain a lot better. The analogy I used with my wife was to imagine I'd been carrying a bucket full of water with my left arm for five hours, that arm is all warn down and achy. Then I get to switch arms for five minutes. It almost feels good to give the left side a break.

The switcheroo actually just happened with me. Along with a few other new symptoms that I've never experienced before. A constant pain at the base of my skull. Sore and tense neck and back. And two cycles happening with just a two week remission. Hoping I didn't just make the jump from episodic to chronic.

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