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SUNCT Syndrome may involve watery eye, drooping eyelid and runny nose.

SUNCT (short-lasting unilateral neuralgiform headache with conjunctival injection and tearing).

Now that’s a long name for a type of headache!!

A rare type of headache, short-lasting unilateral neuralgiform headache with conjunctival injection and tearing (SUNCT syndrome), is a primary type of headache.

Primary headaches are headaches generally considered to be as a result of an unknown pathology. 

SUNCT syndrome is thought to be due to activation of the trigeminal nerve of the face, in particular, the autonomic nervous system. 


SUNCT has similar symptoms to Cluster Headaches, including:

  • Tearing/red eyes
  • Drooping/swelling of the eyelid
  • Nasal blockage

Sufferers experience up to 200 attacks per day (60 is average) which last from 5 seconds to 5 minutes. Although SUNCT can present in other age groups, most sufferers experience these at an average age of 50, and SUNCT mostly occur in males.


There are many triggers which can bring on the symptoms, these include:

  • touching the face or scalp
  • washing
  • chewing
  • eating
  • talking
  • coughing
  • blowing nose
  • showering
  • alcohol
  • smoke
  • strong smells
  • warm environment
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