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20 Aug 2010

My husband gets this terrible headache this time of year. His eyes starts running and turn blood red. He can not handle the pain and also throws up. this is not a migraine headache, this is worse. He does have sinus and the funny thing is it only happens when he has a beer. if he does not drink anything, nothing happens, but also only happens this time of the year, any other day, no problem. I know the right thing is he shouldnt drink, but that does not solve the problem. has been to a docter, but no luck.
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Headache expert
Headache expert

01 Jan 0001

Dear Runette,

It is difficult to make an accurate diagnosis from the limited information you have provided, but it sounds like a mix between cluster headache and migraine. The beer is only a trigger, and the correct way to handle this is to find out why beer triggers the problem. To get to the root of the problem, you need what is called a “multidisciplinary assessment”, which should include a neurological examination to rule out any serious underlying condition. There are so many different structures in the head and neck, all of which can be involved in the headache process, that no single specialist can have all the knowledge necessary to make a comprehensive assessment and diagnosis. For instance, a neurologist will examine the brain and nervous system, a physiotherapist will look at the muscles, a dentist will examine the teeth etc. For this reason, the “multidisciplinary assessment” combines and integrates the expertise of different specialists who would normally treat headache patients in isolation, into a single more comprehensive body of knowledge. This enables the different members of the team to provide a co-ordinated treatment plan, so that all the contributing factors are addressed.

This assessment must include a thorough examination of the head and neck muscles to determine the presence of abnormal tension, and of the external carotid vasculature to determine whether there is an arterial element to the pain.

Headache sufferers often have a poor Quality of Life due to the constant pain and associated symptoms. For a free assessment of how your headaches are affecting your Quality of Life, click on

This information has been supplied and checked by the multidisciplinary team of specialists at The Headache Clinic, in association with The International Headache Society and the South African Institute of Headache and Migraine Science. For consultation with these specialists, call The Headache Clinic (Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg) on 0861 678 911.
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
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