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High-flow Oxygen Can Relieve Cluster Headaches, New Study Suggests

December 25, 2009 by  

High-flow oxygen can relieve cluster headaches, new study suggestsAccording to a new study, 15 minutes of treatment with high-flow oxygen may help alleviate cluster headaches.

Characterized by bouts of excruciating pain near the eyes or temples, cluster headaches are known to last anywhere from 15 minutes to three hours when untreated. Attacks can occur up to eight times a day and may last for weeks, separated by remission periods of months or even years.

Researchers at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London conducted a controlled trial over a five-year period and found that 78 percent of patients with chronic cluster headaches who received high-flow oxygen treatment reported being pain-free or adequately relieved within 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, only 20 percent of respondents who received the placebo treatment reported a relief of cluster headache symptoms.

"To our knowledge, this is the first adequately powered trial of high-flow oxygen compared with placebo, and it confirms clinical experience and current guidelines that inhaled oxygen can be used as an acute attack therapy for episodic and chronic cluster headache," said the authors of the study.

The current pharmacological treatment for cluster headaches is a drug called sumatriptan, but frequent use is not recommended due to adverse side effects.
ADNFCR-1961-ID-19506376-ADNFCR

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  • http://www.jimbernard.org Jim Bernard

    Most people are dehydrated.

    In other words they do not drink enough water..

    The equivalent of eight or nine glasses of water every day is needed by everyone.

    It is often the lack of water – that causes head aches. Even migraine headaches.

    Drinking enough water will often cause headaches to disappear

    Jim

  • John Doe

    The comment about water is ridiculous. The picture in the article is ridiculous. Cluster Headaches are an excruciatingly severe neurological condition that is quite rare. There is no research or evidence that I have read about that specifically suggests that dehydration has anything at all to do with Cluster Headaches. People with this disorder actually have an abnormality in their hypothalamus. The picture is wrong for this article because people going through Cluster Headaches have such severe pain that they cannot touch their face–let alone press on it like the picture. This is not a diagnosis or discussion that should be taken lightly. The article also says the pain is around the “eyes” –that is not correct. The pain for Cluster headaches is almost always unilateral and only around one “eye”. In general the article needs some work. Sumatriptan is one option, not “the” option. Two categories of drugs are used–those that help abort individual headaches–like the oxygen does–and those that attempt to break up the cycle or suppress the headaches while in a cycle.

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