Can Oxygen Therapy Treat Headaches?

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Cluster headaches can be treated with oxygen therapy. Many doctors don’t know the benefits of this treatment, nor do insurance companies that are reluctant to pay. Sometimes it is helpful if your doctor writes a note to you. It is effective? It is effective in cluster headache sufferers. This is a good result but the other half aren’t helped. If you’re considering installing a tank in your home, make sure to test it first.

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How long have they been using it? The first treatment for headaches with oxygen was discovered in 1939. Dr. Alvarez of the Mayo Clinic discovered that 80% of migraine headaches could be stopped or were treated by him. To get 100% oxygen, patients wore masks. It was most effective for cluster headaches, but it also worked well for other types of headaches.

The therapy was most effective when it was initiated at the first sign of migraine. Unfortunately, this study was not as thorough and detailed as the recent ones. Dr. Kudrow, father of Lisa Kudrow and actress who played Phoebe on Friends, conducted the first significant study on the effects oxygen therapy on cluster headaches. He is also a sufferer of migraines. He treated 52 patients with 100% oxygen. A Dr. Fogan’s study showed that people who inhale oxygen show a marked improvement over those who inhale air. This comparison showed that it was not the gas tank or mask that was helping but the oxygen.

How does it work?

It has been proven to work, but we don’t know why. Cluster headaches and migraines both involve an increase of blood flow to the brain. Oxygen can cause a drop of blood flow, which could lead to less swelling and less pressure on the nerves in your brain. Is there any side effects?

Cluster headache sufferers are often smokers. Smoking next to an oxygen tank can cause a lot of pain. Dr. Kudrow discovered that 25% of patients who received oxygen therapy suffered from rebound headaches. There have been no other side effects. Ergotamine, which is commonly used to treat headaches, has many drawbacks. These side effects are not present with oxygen and it can be used on anyone.