The thought of migraine relief has become somewhat of a fairy tale to those who live with the chronic head pain. According to Migraines.com, more than 37 million people suffer from migraines in the United States alone. These painful attacks cause an intense, throbbing headache, and can bring on added symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. Many people feel the need to lie down in a dark, quiet area while waiting for the pain to subside, but relief can be hard to find. Lasting anywhere from a few hours to several days, it is easy to see how this can become debilitating. Simple every day activities that most of us take for granted, such as caring for children or putting in a full day of work, become impossible for migraine sufferers who cannot find reliable relief.
There are treatments on the market, both over the counter and prescription, that provide migraine relief, but not everyone responds well to medication. It is exciting to note that the Food and Drug Administration has just approved a new device for the relief of migraine pain. Cefaly is a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation device, and may prove helpful for patients who do not gain relief from pain with medication. Worn across the forehead, Cefaly is shaped like a headband and contains a self-adhesive electrode that is positioned on the forehead. This device sends an electric current to the skin and underlying tissues to target the trigeminal nerve, which is thought to be linked to migraines. Approved for adults 18 years and older, Cefaly is available only by prescription. It is meant to be used for just 20 minutes a day, and can cause a tingling or massaging sensation while activated.
Medical News Today reports that a study conducted in Belgium found that participants who wore Cefaly, rather than a dummy device, did experience the relief of fewer migraines through the month, and also consumed less medication than normal. Although this is a positive start, especially for those unaffected by medication, the study did not show that migraines were completely prevented. Unlike most medications on the market, however, this headband-like device has not shown any serious side effects. Some people experience drowsiness during the treatment, and a headache afterward, but so far nothing more extreme has been noted.
The recent approval of this medical equipment is a huge stride toward overcoming the disabling symptoms of migraines. For those seeking relief, help is on the horizon!
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