Cluster Headache

Treating Cluster Headache With Oxygen Therapy


Cluster headache is one of the several types of headaches. Amidst various other headache types, this one is the most exacerbating. This headache type is accompanied with intense, throbbing pain, which may be intolerable. Cluster headaches have also been termed as suicidal headaches because the patient feels like ripping his headache off. If you too are dealing with the problem then there is good news for you in the form of oxygen therapy.

Recent studies and researches have revealed that oxygen therapy can prove beneficial in treating cluster headache. Using pure oxygen at a high flow can help ease cluster headaches considerably. Oxygen therapy works on the same principle of being in open environments and inhaling fresh oxygen helps ease out headache. Though the treatment has been in use for over the past 30 years now, it is off late that the therapy has gained full form.

The efficacy of oxygen therapy as a potential treatment for cluster headaches cannot be underestimated. Recent findings and trials have revealed that almost 80 % of patients dealing with cluster headache can benefit from this therapy.

If a person suffering from cluster headaches is able to administer headache at the very onset of pain, the degree of the headache can be reduced considerably. Administering pure oxygen at a high flow at the very commencement of the headache can reduce the attack from a 3-hour one to a 15-30 minutes one.

Constricted blood vessels are known to be the primary cause of any kind of headache including cluster headaches. The oxygen directed to your body helps open up the constricted blood vessels. In addition, oxygen also helps stimulate the synthesis of serotonin in the central nervous system. As a result, the pain is reduced.

To treat cluster headache using oxygen therapy, 100 % percent oxygen is required. This pure oxygen needs to be provided to the patient via tight fitting mask. Ideally, the rate of flow of oxygen should be 8 to 10 liters/min. Administering oxygen at the given rate for 10 to 15 minutes can help reduce the headache considerably. Oxygen inhalations may be repeated up to five times per day.

While oxygen therapy can be effective in treating cluster headaches, it in isolation cannot offer the desired results. Thus, it is recommended that you go in for headache relief medications along with using the therapy. The combined result prescription medication and this therapy can go at great length in treating the problem.

Oxygen therapy has come across as a great sigh of relief for those battling the deadly problem of cluster headaches. It is for us to wait and watch as to how far the therapy will go in treating the problem.