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Discovering the Pain-Relieving Benefits of Oxygen Infusion for Migraines


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A face mask that breathes oxygen can help treat migraines. The device is believed to reduce inflammation in the nerve cells that cause pain.

It is currently being tested on 160 patients.

Migraines cause painful headaches that may be accompanied by nausea, blurred vision, and increased sensitivity to light, sound, and smells.
The exact cause of these attacks is not fully understood. One theory is that this is the result of brain cells activating the trigeminal nerve, which is one of the main nerves in the face and transmits pain signals back to the brain.

This releases chemicals that irritate blood vessels on the surface of the brain and cause them to swell, activating additional pain signals.

There is no cure for migraines — the main treatments are painkillers and drugs called triptans, which reduce inflammation and constrict blood vessels in the head, relieving pain.

However, these medications do not always work, and triptans can have side effects such as nausea, dry mouth, and drowsiness.

Oxygen therapy is already being used to treat cluster headaches, attacks of severe pain on one side of the head, often felt around the eye, affecting about one in 1,000 people.

In this case, patients are given oxygen cylinders for use at home and on the road; They are attached to the face mask and are activated at the first sign of a pain attack.

And there is some evidence that oxygen reduces inflammation and neuronal activity associated with cluster headaches, and a similar mechanism has been proposed for migraine relief.

The new migraine study follows a previous Massachusetts General Hospital study of 22 patients in whom oxygen machines were four times more effective than placebo (air-filled) in relieving pain.

Nausea relief was also higher in the oxygen group – 42% compared to 23% – and there was a greater improvement in visual symptoms – 36% compared to 7%, reports Cephalalgia.

Now, 160 migraine sufferers who seek help at the Ankara Research Hospital Emergency Department in Turkey will be offered standard anti-inflammatory painkillers at the first sign of pain, and half will also receive oxygen therapy through a mask that delivers 10 liters of oxygen per day. minute.

They will breathe oxygen for an hour and the pain levels before and after will be compared between the two groups.

Dr Andrew Dawson, Head of Clinical Services NHS East Kent and Bromley Headache Services, said: “It’s always good to see more research into migraine, especially treatment options that are less likely to cause severe side effects. with cluster headache focal. “A clinically controversial issue included in the NICE guidelines. Oxygen has been proposed as a potential treatment for migraine, and if the new study is positive, we will need to assess the strength of the evidence and balance it with the logistical issues of delivering home oxygen to patients.”

Source: Daily Mail

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