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Migraine and Normobaric Oxygen Therapy

  • By Siegfried

    Hello Everyone,

    I am a 48 yrs old male from Belgium and I suffer from heavy migraines since childhood. I have been already to various doctors and my migraine always has been diagnosed as the very “classical non-aura migraine”. I have started to take zomig since 2009 and that always worked very well.

    However, the last years I was showing symptoms of cluster headache during my migraine episodes. These were periods of 1-2 hours during the migraine attack of excruciating pain on the temple with running nose, tearing eye and it was not possible to sit still anymore. During a 2 days migraine attack, I got around 1 up to 3 of such cluster episodes.

    6 months ago I have visited a neurologist specialized in migraine. Although my symptoms are much more migraine-like than cluster headache-like, I was prescribed normobaric oxygen therapy. That was in April of this year.

    To my very big surprise, the oxygen therapy worked like a miracle ! If I felt a migraine attack coming, I supplied oxygen for 15 min (15 liters/min) and the attack was gone and it did not came back anymore ! I am now doing this for 7 months and my triptan use has gone from 4 per month to 2 in this 7 month period. Since the oxygen, I have never suffered a real migraine again.

    Now I am a bit puzzled what I have… Clustermigraine is not an official diagnosis and most say it does not exists. On the other hand, normobaric oxygen therapy is not supposed to work with migraine and works only well with cluster headaches while my symptoms are for 80 % migraine like and only occasionally show CH symptoms.

    I would like to know if there is anybody with the same type of migraine.. I mean a migraine with occasional CH symptoms but that responds extremely well on normobaric oxigen.

    Contrary to what the experts pretend, I start to believe that like in my case, there is indeed something like “clustermigraine” which I could describe as a hybrid migraine/CH.

    Thanks a lot for reading this and Best Regards !

    siegfried

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi siegfried,

    Thank you for sharing your story with us! You’re right, ‘cluster migraine’ is not an actual diagnosis. It is possible to have multiple types of headache disorders. I have migraine without aura, chronic migraine, tension-type headache to name a few. I wonder if this is what’s happening.

    We have information on cluster headache in this link I hope is helpful; https://migraine.com/?s=cluster+headache&submit=Go.

    Nancy

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