Unilateral Photophobia or Phonophobia Can Distinguish Migraine from Cluster Headache

December 15, 2010

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Brought to you by the Resident and Fellow Section of the journal Neurology®.

November 15, 2010

Unilateral Photophobia or Phonophobia Can Distinguish Migraine from Cluster Headache

Only 4% of episodic migraine patients with photophobia or phonophobia experience these symptoms unilaterally, while 80% of those with episodic cluster headache have unilateral symptoms. [1] Patients with the other trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias (SUNCT and paroxysmal hemicrania) are also more likely to report unilateral photophobia or phonophobia than migraineurs. Asking patients to specify whether their symptoms are unilateral can be helpful in distinguishing these primary headache disorders.

Reference

1.1. Irimia P, Cittadini E, Paemeleire K, Cohen AS, Goadsby PJ. Unilateral photophobia or phonophobia in migraine compared with trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias. Cephalalgia 2008; 28:626-630.

Disclosure: Dr. Gelfand serves on the editorial team for the Neurology® Resident and Fellow Section.

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