The Role Oxygen Plays in Relieving Migraines & Cluster Headaches | O+ - Oxygen Plus

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The Role Oxygen Can Play in Relieving Migraines and Cluster Headaches

March 13, 2024 5 min read

    The Role Oxygen Can Play in Relieving Migraines and Cluster Headaches

    Every year, millions of Americans are afflicted with the debilitating effects of migraines and cluster headaches. These conditions are not just painful – they significantly impact the quality of life, productivity and overall well-being. Statistics reveal that nearly 12% of the American population suffers from migraines, with cluster headaches being noted for their extreme severity. As we learn about these painful conditions, we'll explore the potential relief offered by oxygen therapy.

    Understanding Migraines and Cluster Headaches

    What are Migraines?

    Migraines are more than just headaches. They are complex neurological conditions characterized by intense, throbbing pain, usually on one side of the head. Symptoms can include nausea, vomiting and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. The exact causes of migraines remain somewhat of a mystery, but factors like hormonal changes, stress, and certain foods can trigger these episodes.

    What are Cluster Headaches?

    Cluster headaches, on the other hand, are short but extremely painful episodes that occur in cyclical patterns, also known as clusters. Known for their piercing pain, typically around one eye, these headaches strike swiftly and without warning. The exact cause of cluster headaches is also not well understood, but the pain is often described as one of the most intense a person can experience.

    The Emerging Role of Oxygen in Headache Relief

    Recent studies have brought to light the potential role of oxygen therapy in alleviating the excruciating pain of migraines and cluster headaches. Oxygen therapy for cluster headaches has shown promise, with high-flow oxygen being used in clinical settings to provide rapid relief from acute attacks.

    How Does Oxygen Help?

    The exact mechanism is not entirely understood, but it's believed that high concentrations of oxygen can reduce blood vessel swelling in the brain and mitigate pain. This form of treatment is particularly noted for its effectiveness in cluster headache treatment, with studies indicating that inhaling oxygen at a flow rate of 7 to 15 liters per minute can significantly reduce or even abort attacks.

    Studies Supporting Oxygen Therapy for Headaches

    Several clinical trials and studies have backed the efficacy of oxygen therapy, particularly for cluster headaches. For instance, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association demonstrated that 78% of participants experienced relief within 15 minutes of using high-flow oxygen for cluster headache attacks. Moreover, the European Neurology journal highlighted that oxygen therapy not only provides rapid relief but also comes with minimal side effects, making it a favorable option for many sufferers.

    Oxygen Plus: A Source of Supplemental Oxygen

    While the benefits of oxygen therapy in clinical settings are promising, it's also worth discussing how individuals can access supplemental oxygen in their daily lives. Oxygen Plus offers a convenient and portable source of pure oxygen that’s filled with 99.5% Aviator Breathing Oxygen, the same oxygen pilots breathe. Designed for healthy, active people to breathe whenever normal, healthy oxygen levels drop below optimal levels, which can occur at a higher altitude or during vigorous exercise, its benefits include energy, recovery and increased focus.

    It's important to note that Oxygen Plus is not a medical device and should not be viewed as a treatment for migraines or cluster headaches. The product is designed to help top off depleted oxygen levels to optimal levels – serving as a supplement for various non-medical scenarios where increased oxygen levels can be beneficial.

    Conventional Therapies for Migraines

    Treatment for migraines is typically multifaceted, aiming to both alleviate symptoms during an attack and reduce the frequency and severity of future episodes.

    Acute Treatments

    Pain-relieving medications

    Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers with ibuprofen, aspirin, acetaminophen and caffeine are often used. However, for those with more severe symptoms, prescription drugs are commonly prescribed. These medications are most effective when taken at the first sign of an impending migraine.

    Anti-nausea drugs

    Given that nausea and vomiting are common during migraines, medications to address these symptoms are frequently prescribed alongside pain relievers.

    Preventive Treatments


    These are used to reduce the frequency, severity, and duration of migraines and might include cardiovascular drugs, antidepressants, anti-seizure drugs and even higher-dose Botox injections.

    Lifestyle alterations

    Recognizing and avoiding triggers is paramount. Common triggers include stress, certain foods, sensory stimuli, changes in sleep patterns and hormonal changes in women.

    Complementary Treatments

    Biofeedback and relaxation techniques

    These methods help individuals control certain body responses, potentially reducing the frequency and severity of migraines.

    Acupuncture and massage therapy

    Some individuals find these therapies helpful in managing their migraine symptoms.

    Conventional Therapies for Cluster Headaches

    Cluster headaches require treatments that can act quickly due to the rapid onset and intense nature of the pain.

    Acute Treatments

    Inhalable Oxygen

    Inhaling pure oxygen, through a mask, and ideally through the nose, at the onset of a cluster headache can provide significant relief for many individuals.


    The injectable form of this medication can provide rapid relief from pain.


    Octreotide, an injectable synthetic version of the brain hormone somatostatin, can be an alternative for those who cannot take triptans.

    Preventive Treatments


    These may include calcium channel blockers, corticosteroids, and lithium carbonate, especially for those with chronic cluster headaches.

    Nerve block

    Injecting a numbing agent and corticosteroid into the area around the occipital nerve can provide temporary relief.

    Lifestyle and Home Remedies

    Avoiding trigger

    Alcohol and tobacco are known to trigger cluster headaches in some individuals. Reducing the intake of these could improve the severity of cluster headaches.

    Regular sleep schedule

    Irregular sleeping patterns can trigger cluster headaches, so maintaining a consistent sleep schedule is crucial.

    Despite these treatments, the unpredictable nature of migraines and cluster headaches often leads individuals to explore additional complementary methods to manage their symptoms. This might include dietary modifications, stress management techniques, and other holistic approaches like meditation and yoga. It's always recommended to discuss these treatment options with a healthcare professional to ensure they fit into a comprehensive and personalized treatment plan.

    Another Breath

    The journey of understanding and managing migraines and cluster headaches is ongoing. As we explore the potential of treatments like oxygen therapy, it's crucial to approach each option with an informed perspective. While oxygen therapy has shown promise in clinical settings, particularly for cluster headache treatment, products like Oxygen Plus offer a supplemental source of oxygen for everyday non-medical, recreational scenarios. Here's to a future where every breath brings us closer to relief and well-being! 


    Oxygen Plus (O+) products, which contain pure recreational oxygen, are intended for recreational, intermittent use only, not to be used as medical nor life-saving products. Prolonged use is defined as uninterrupted intake for more than 8 hours. Any person with any type of health or medical condition should consult their physician prior to the use of O+ products. Since O+ is not a medical product or intended for medical use, it is neither regulated nor approved by the FDA. 










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