Headaches are one of the most common ailments that affect just about everyone. Their direct causes are still being researched and remain a bit of a mystery. However, it is more widely known what happens during a headache. When a headache occurs there is swelling in the blood vessels and tension in the muscles and nerves around the head. Headaches can range widely from being quite mild to very extreme. On the extreme end of the spectrum, a headache evolves into it’s more debilitating form, that of a migraine.
A recent study shows there is progress being made that may lead to the prevention of migraines and headaches in future. Eleven patients participated in a promising pilot study, which will be followed by a larger clinical trial.
Dr. Troels Johansen explains that migraines occur when the veins in the brain contract and the blood cannot supply the brain with sufficient oxygen. He, along with others, are using this knowledge to try and combat migraines. A CO2 and oxygen filled inhaler was administered for testing in the study. The inhaler was found to expand the blood vessels that supply oxygen to the brain by up to 70 percent, and in result stopping the headache like symptoms before the ailment worsens.
The pilot study was carried out in 2016-2017 with patients that experience aura with migraines. Aura is where the patient experiences either visual or sensory disturbances before the most painful headache begins. One of the results was that the inhaler significantly decreased the pain with each use of the inhaler. The results concluded that with the first use 45% of patients experienced relief, and 78% experienced relief when adding an additional second use.
The Inhaler could become a common household item in the near future if the clinical trial produces similarly positive results.