Migraine is a common neurologic syndrome characterized by severe headache, nausea, vomiting, and hypersensitivity to lights and sounds. Other common symptoms include chills, sweating, fatigue, weakness, loss of appetite, numbness or tingling, and difficulty speaking or concentrating. Some patients experience warning signs, such as visual disturbances or aura, a few minutes or a whole day before an attack, which may last 4 to 72 hours.
Causes of Migraine
The precise causes and mechanisms of migraine are unknown. Attacks originate with chemical changes in the brain and nervous system and progress into painful restrictions in blood flow. Certain tastes, odors, lights, noises, and physical or emotional stress may trigger migraine.
Treatment of Migraine with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) has been shown to relieve headache pain and terminate migraine attacks in progress. HBOT has not proven effective in preventing or reducing the frequency of attacks. The difficulty of gaining timely access to a hyperbaric chamber limits the practicality of HBOT for routine treatment. Physicians may prescribe hyperbaric oxygen as an adjunct or alternative to drug treatments and other therapies.
HyperbaricLink Evidence Index for Migraine
The HyperbaricLink Evidence Index is our at-a-glance summary of the clinical evidence on HBOT for the treatment of specific diseases and conditions. Scoring is based solely on our reading and interpretation of the medical literature.
- Disproved - Strong evidence against using HBOT.
- None - Unfavorable results or no published evidence.
- Scant - Early or mixed results with lingering questions.
- Promising - Repeatedly favorable results urging further study.
- Compelling - Strong body of evidence meriting approval.
- Approved - HBOT indicated and widely reimbursed.
Follow the links to our primary sources to read the papers and analyses that have shaped our views. PubMed.gov lists most all scientific papers published in reputable medical journals. HBOEvidence.com critically appraises key studies in the hyperbaric medical literature. ClinicalTrials.gov lists human clinical trials currently enrolling, in progress, and recently completed.
More information on Migraine
NOT APPROVED indication for HBOT by UHMS
NIH Medline Plus
HBOT news about Migraine
More news from O2.0 – the HyperbaricLink blog
Complete migraine news archive from O2.0 — the HyperbaricLink blog.