Family says they solved the mystery of teen's migraines

A family says they believe they discovered a link between a teenager's migraines and air pressure, finding a way to end his recurring pain.

More than 40 million Americans suffer from migraines, and 17-year-old Robert Pushis was one of them.

"No one would actually believe me at all, so they would just write it off as if I was faking it completely just so I could get out of school," he said.

His mom, Jeanne Pushis, said she originally thought he needed glasses, but then the headaches started getting worse, lasting as long as 18 hours.

"It was horrible," she said. "Any time you see your child suffer and you can't relieve the pain from them, it's a nightmare."

Jeanne said she took her son to every doctor imaginable, trying to figure out what caused the extreme pain.

Diagnosing migraines can be difficult, as more than 300 medical conditions are associated with them, said Dr. Lawrence Newman, Director of the Division of Headache at NYU Langone Health. Also, not all sufferers experience the same symptoms.

Finally, Jeanne said a doctor recommended tracking the air pressure.

"At first I thought, 'Oh, he's crazy. That's not going to make a difference,'" she said.

But it did, and the cause of Robert's migraines became clear.

"It was incredible, it was like clockwork," she said. "Every single time there was a swing of significance, Robert was down."

So the family left their home in Indiana and moved more than 700 miles to Mississippi.

While the scientific link between barometric pressure and migraines is not completely known, the change in location seemed to work for the Pushis family.

Jeanne said at first, she was scared to move, but Robert has excelled in his new home and now feels "wonderful."

"You have to keep seeking help, you have to keep trying every single thing that sounds crazy ... and that's really what we discovered," she said.
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