Monday, July 28, 2008

Oxygen Therapy As a Possible Treatment for Migraine

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The findings of a new research study indicate that two different types of oxygen therapy may be helpful in relieving the symptoms of migraine and cluster attacks.

Oxygen Therapy Might Ease Pain of Migraine, Cluster Headaches

The researchers reviewed nine previous studies of the use of oxygen therapy to treat migraines and cluster headaches.
These studies utilized normobaric oxygen therapy and hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Normobaric oxygen therapy involves administration of pure oxygen to patients at room temperature. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is administered by giving patients oxygen at higher pressure in a special chamber (as shown in the picture).

Based on their review, researchers determined that hyperbaric treatment may provide some relief for those experiencing a migraine attack and normobaric treatment may provide relief for patients experiencing clusters. They noted, however, that neither treatment was thought to be helpful in preventing future attacks.

Another drawback is that it might be difficult for patients to get access to the therapy while they are experiencing an attack, as they would need to visit a clinic of some kind to receive the oxygen treatment. However, for patients experiencing lengthy attacks, it could be helpful for them to have access to this option if it is available in their area.

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