Oxygen therapy could be used to relieve headaches

December 9, 2009 9:43:13 AM PST
The pain of "cluster headaches" can be so intense they are sometimes referred to as "suicide headaches." A new study finds that breathing pure oxygen helps ease the pain. Doctors followed 76 patients over five years. They treated "cluster headaches" using both air and oxygen. Researchers found patients who breathed pure oxygen were pain free after 15 minutes of treatment.

"It can be a struggle for insurance companies, governments to understand the solutions to cluster headaches. Now there's evidence," said Dr. Peter Goadsby, University of California, San Francisco.

Doctors say using oxygen also prevents patients from over-using medications that can be hard on the body.

The results of the study appear in the Journal of the American Medical Association.


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