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Migraine Victims See Promising Results with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)

· Migraine · Comments Off on Migraine Victims See Promising Results with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)

Does HBOT Improve Migraine Headache Pain?

Medical studies show promising results…

A migraine headache is debilitating. Its victim can feel nauseous or even vomit. In addition, migraine sufferers get profoundly sensitive to light and sound, and may feel like their fingers and toes are freezing. These typical symptoms can send them packing to bed for hours or days at a time. It’s practically unbearable to complete daily tasks or go to work. Unfortunately, those with migraines often find prescription medications provide temporary relief at best. At worst, taking these meds can actually trigger rebound headaches that perpetuate the pain cycle. But now another non-invasive and safe treatment is showing great promise at relieving migraine headaches: hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT).

Read more: Migraine Victims See Promising Results with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT):

The first mention of using oxygen therapy to treat migraines was in 1939. At that time, Mr. Charles E. Rhein of Linde Air Products, Co., informed Dr. Francisco Alvarez at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota that he had successfully treated migraine sufferers by having them breathe in pure oxygen at six to eight liters per minute.

In 1940, the intrigued Dr. Alvarez repeated the treatment on 100 headache patients. Using a nasal type of face mask to deliver oxygen at seven liters per minute, the doctor observed that in eight out of every 10 cases, patients got significant pain relief or their headaches subsided entirely. He also noted that treatments achieved the best results in patients who got oxygen therapy during the initial stages of their migraine.

Further studies continued to support Dr. Alvarez’s findings. In 1979, Dr. Lee Kudrow, founder of the California Medical Clinic for Headache in Encino, California began using oxygen therapy to successfully halt cluster migraines. After studying 402 patients, in 1988, Kudrow reported that most cluster headaches occur cyclically in July and January, about one week after the longest and shortest days of the year. Dr. Kudrow also noted that cluster headache periods diminished two weeks following the changes between standard time and daylight savings.

These observations led Dr. Kudrow to conclude that episodic cluster headaches occurred and faded due to changes in a person’s inner biological clock. Switching to daylight or standard time would tamper with circadian rhythms – resulting in low oxygen levels just prior to headache attacks. Circadian rhythms are centered in our hypothalamus, the part of our brains that regulates oxygen levels in the blood. And that could seem to explain why oxygen therapy had worked so effectively for three-quarters of the Dr. Kudrow’s cluster headache study subjects!

Since Kudrow’s research the medical community has conducted many studies comparing the results of hyperbaric oxygen therapy with placebo treatment to determine whether the therapy can relieve migraine symptoms. And the answer is a definite, yes. Studies reveal that large numbers of migraine sufferers get significant pain relief after just 40 minutes in an HBOT chamber. And when people are able to heed the warning signs of an oncoming migraine and seek oxygen therapy in advance, they can successfully avoid migraine attacks altogether.

How does HBOT provide migraine headache relief?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy works by administering 100% oxygen at higher than normal air pressures, while you sit or lie comfortably in an enclosed chamber. Migraines can occur, in part, because brain blood vessels have swollen. HBOT’s oxygen-rich environment helps to bring down that swelling and make pain go away. Although HBOT won’t prevent headaches or reduce their frequency, many patients who come in for treatment during the midst of a migraine have found that it stops pain completely.

If you suffer from migraines or frequent headaches and would like to learn more about how HBOT may help reduce your pain, please contact us today. In cases where HBOT is not covered by insurance, we will explain your options. To schedule a headache assessment, simply click here or call 727-787-7077.

Suffering from One of These 5 Less Common Types of Migraine?

· Migraine · Comments Off on Suffering from One of These 5 Less Common Types of Migraine?

Suffering from One of these 5 Less Common Types of Migraine?

Most people have heard about the two major types of migraines, even if they are lucky enough to never experience them. But did you know how important it is to know exactly which type of migraine you get? Each one could require a very different treatment. Taking the wrong medication for a migraine with aura could actually be dangerous, for example. And surprisingly, 60 percent of women and 70 percent of men who get migraines don’t get diagnosed correctly. To complicate matters, it’s possible that your migraines don’t fit neatly into one type.Still, recognizing symptoms of these five less common types of migraine could tip you off that it’s time to see a qualified neurologist. Which type of migraine do you get?

If you are unsure of which migraine type you suffer from and would like a personalized assessment with Dr. Allan Spiegel, MD at our Palm Harbor, Florida center, call 727-787-7077.

Read More: Suffering from One of these 5 Less Common Types of Migraine?

For those who don’t know, these are the two major types of migraine:

  • Migraine Without Aura. If you get this most common migraine type, you feel moderate to severe pulsating head pain that often comes on without warning. This could occur on just one side of your head. You might also feel queasy, confused or fatigued, and your vision could get blurry. Lights, sounds and smells can seem unbearable. Moving around tends to make your symptoms worse. Your attacks could last anywhere from four to 72 hours, and you could get them a few times a year – or as often as a few times per week. It’s important to know that frequently taking pain meds for Migraine Without Aura can make your symptoms worsen over time.
  • Migraine with Aura. If you suffer from this migraine type, seeing flashes of light, wavy lines or dots signals that a migraine headache could hit you in anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour.(Or it’s possible you could see the aura and not get a headache.) You may also experience partial or total loss of vision. Less commonly, you could feel numbness, muscle weakness or other odd sensations on one side of your body. Your hands or face could tingle. You might feel nauseous, confused or tired and have difficulty speaking. Lights, sounds and smells could also bother you.

Here are the 5 more unusual and rare forms of migraine…

1. Migraine without Headache (Also called Typical Aura without Headache) With this type of migraine you get aura symptoms – blind spots or zig-zags in your vision field, wavy lines or bright halos. You could also feel light-headed and nauseous. You may hear, see or
smell things that others don’t. You may also have constipation or diarrhea. But you don’t get head pain.

2. Migraine with Brainstem Aura If you are teenaged girl you are more likely than others to get this rarer type of migraine with auras that originate in the brainstem (also called basilar migraine). It may come on with your period. Your symptoms could include losing sensation on one side of your body or feeling pins and needles. Your speech may be slurred, and you get throbbing pain in the back of your head. Concentrating is next to impossible. People may say that you’re acting drunk. Although your attacks can last for several hours, you can feel dizzy and numb for much longer. And you can lose your sense of balance, too. Children and young adults also get these migraines.

3. Hemiplegic Migraine This crippling, rare form of migraine can run in families. You may get paralyzed on one side of your body for up to several days before the headache hits, or even during the headache. You may feel dizzy or light-headed, get prickling sensations in your skin and have trouble speaking or swallowing. You can also get blurred vision or see auras

4. Retinal (Ocular) Migraine If you get this form of migraine, you experience auras in only one eye. Your vision could get blurry in that eye or it could even become temporarily blind. You could see stars or zig-zags or shimmery lights. Objects may look like they have glitter or a halo around them. Your symptoms last only a few minutes or for up to a half hour.

5. Chronic Migraine You get headaches for at least 15 days each month, at least 8 of which are migraines. You may or may not experience auras with these. Your symptoms are often crippling and you will likely need to control these with preventative medication and special exercises that a qualified doctor prescribes.

Whichever type of migraine you experience, it’s important to get properly diagnosed so you get the right treatment for you.

At our Palm Harbor, Florida center, neurologist Dr. Allan Spiegel, MD has seen patients with every type of migraine and uses state-of-the-art equipment to make an accurate diagnosis. With our center’s integrative approach, you could medically qualify for a variety of treatments that bring many patients lasting headache relief. To schedule a migraine assessment, simply click here or call 727-787-7077.