Breathing Pure Oxygen Effective in Treating Cluster Headaches, Study Finds

December 15, 2009
Vidushi Sinha

Cluster headaches are described by sufferers as being more excruciating than childbirth or a gunshot wound. But a measure of relief may be in sight for these intensely painful headaches, which are also known as “suicide” headaches. A new study shows that breathing pure oxygen can considerably lessen the agony.

For Petru Russo, the headaches can occur up to 10 times a day. “It’s like a knife, somebody’s cutting in your brain,” he said.

Ruso says he tried all kinds of medication for this severe pain but nothing worked. The only thing that brought relief was breathing pure oxygen. “The pain is gone. The oxygen really changed my life,” he explained.

Pure oxygen also did the trick for Valerie Walker. “Oxygen has just made all the difference for me. I do not have the side effects and it has made all the difference for me,” she said.

Cluster headaches occur in cycles: sufferers can experience several headaches a day for weeks or even months on end. And cluster headaches are debilitating.

The typical treatment is an injection with the drug sumatriptan. But sumatriptan has side effects and overuse of medication can be hard on the body. More…