Let's talk Oxygen.

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Post  Platypus on Fri 18 Oct 2013, 2:53 am

Over on the clusterbuster forum I learned that the one and only thing that works to abort a cluster attack is oxygen. Apparently Imitrex shots help some, but O2 inhaled through a non-rebreather mask works like nothing else. They have a whole sub-forum just on O2. They say if it doesn't work it's almost always a technical problem due to how it's inhaled (non-rebreather mask, regulator and other gear. These guys have lots of paraphernalia).

I've tried O2 as an abortive, rented a tank and inhaled it when I got a migraine, but I had no idea what I was doing. Needless to say it did nothing. Could this be of any use for migraine if utilized properly?
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Post  Sara79 on Fri 18 Oct 2013, 3:17 am

DH gets cluster migraines, triggered by stress, and has used O2 with mixed results. Either, the change was immediate and positive, or, no help, but no harm.

Putting on my 'work' hat...please be cautious if you're using a non-rebreather. There is such a thing as oxygen toxicity, google or search within a trusted medical sight for info, but basically excessively high oxygen exposure that is not needed (clinically used to get someone a 'normal' oxygen sat) can cause more harm than help. Just a short time, less than a couple of hours is not a problem, but like with anything there are people who feel that if a little is good, more HAS to be better. Also, be sure that you've got the oxygen flow high enough to keep the non-rebreather bag from collapsing when you're taking a deep breath.

Recently we've even been educated to not put a possible heart attack on a few liters, as long as their sats are above 92%.

Hope the info/testimonial helps!

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Post  milo on Sat 26 Oct 2013, 8:28 am

O2 has not been proven helpful for migraines and certainly won't abort them. It does work won wonders for people with cluster headaches though. Gosh, how I wish it worked for migraine!!!!!
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Post  Platypus on Tue 29 Oct 2013, 7:55 pm

It might actually. The only real studies w/ migraineurs have been Hyberbaric Oxygen Therapy, which has proven helpful. There is currently a clinical trial underway at Massachusetts General Hospital looking at O2 therapy at normal room atmosphere w/ migraineurs. It started in 2012 and will complete in 2014. In the meantime you can try it on your own, which I'm going to do.
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Post  Platypus on Mon 11 Nov 2013, 10:10 pm

High-flow oxygen therapy failed for me as an abortive. Crying or Very sad I'm going to post the technical details of what I tried for future generations, as this still may be a helpful therapy for some. Cool 

I used welder's oxygen, not medical oxygen. I researched this extensively, and found that many headache patients are using welder's oxygen because it costs 1/10 the price and you don't need a prescription. OTOH if you use medical oxygen you can probably get it delivered. In any case, they are the same - if it comes in a green tank, it is 100% O2, and you can breathe it. I got a 70 lb tank (not sure the size in cubic centimeters).

I went to a local welding supply business and the way they work, which is typical, is you give them a deposit, and they give you the tank for .35 cents/day + cost of the O2. When you run out you bring the tank back and they swap it for another one.

You have to buy two other things: a regulator and a mask. The cheapest regulator around can be bought at the cheap tools chain Harbor Freight for $35. I ordered the special ClusterO2 Kit online which comes with mask, tubing and mouthpiece especially made for cluster HA O2 inhalation for $20.

I tried aborting 3 migraines w/ oxygen. The first time I tried it I had about a level 4 HA and I used a really high flow (unfortunately the gauges for welder's tanks don't indicate liters per minute so I can't report exact air flow). I was hyperventilating for about 15 minutes. Afterwards I was dizzy and exhausted. I fell asleep. I had a really nasty nightmare and woke up a couple hours later and my HA was worse.

The 2nd time I tried it on a level 5 HA w/ a somewhat slower airflow, but still faster than normal breathing. After 20 minutes I stopped. I felt no better or worse.

The 3rd time I tried I had another moderate HA. I set the flow rate very low and breathed the O2 normally until the tank ran out in about 16 minutes. Again, I felt no better or worse.

So that's my personal trial w/ O2 therapy. I returned the regulator and tank so my investment was minimal.

-Platy
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Post  30yrsofheadache on Tue 12 Nov 2013, 5:28 am

Platy, Thanks for subjecting yourself to an experimental treatment for us all! Sorry it didnt work for you. I myself am in an experiment of sorts with my Dr. It is an electrical wave wand that does work and drops that are taken in water that are supposed to work like Homeopathy. So far, so good. I will report back when I have more data Very Happy 
Hugs,
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