Researchers find oxygen may help relieve cluster headaches - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

12/11/09

Researchers find oxygen may help relieve cluster headaches

By Kristin Beerman | email

Edited by Jon Bush | email 

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – Researchers have developed a new treatment for patients who suffer from cluster headaches; those are extremely painful head pains near the eye or temple. The study, featured in the Journal of the American Medical Association, shows breathing pure oxygen can help quickly and effectively relieve the intense pain.  

"20% of attacks were improved on placebo which is air and 78% of attacks were improved on oxygen, a clear difference in favor of oxygen," said Peter J. Goadsby, M.D., with the University of California at San Francisco.  "This study is important because it offers patients with cluster headache a safe, effective treatment that they can use on multiple occasions that will give them good pain relief for their appalling headaches."

The JAMA report found patients using the oxygen were most likely pain free after just 15 minutes of treatment.  Researchers also found that not only does the oxygen help stop the pain of an attack, but it also can turn off other symptoms including, eye watering, swelling and redness.

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