New technology aims to mitigate migraines

New technology aims to mitigate migraines

It looks like something an intergalactic princess would wear at her coronation, but a new device might become the first frontier of reducing an often debilitating condition. 

The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced the approval of a Belgium company to market Cefaly, the first device used as a preventative treatment for migraine headaches. The FDA’s approval of the new technology comes after reviewing a Belgian clinical study and a report of more than 2,300 patient satisfaction surveys. 

A migraine headache causes a pulsing sensation in one area of the head and is commonly accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. The attacks can last for hours or even days, and often times, sometimes lying in a dark, quiet room can alleviate or slightly dull the pain. 

According to the National Institute of Health, these debilitating headaches affect approximately 10 percent of people worldwide and are three times more common in women than men. 

Cefaly, a portable, headband device that runs on a battery, is an electrical nerve simulation that helps when pain is on the horizon. Placed just above the eyes, the device applies electric currents to the skin in a massaging sensation. It could be used as much as 20-minutes once a day with the pressure intensity increasing slowly throughout the session. 

Dr. Shahida Ahmad, a neurologist at Advocate Trinity Hospital in Chicago, says there are several things a person can do to help them naturally improve their migraines as well. 

Dr. Ahmad recommends the first step is to monitor caffeine intake. Although caffeine is a common ingredient in many prescription and over-the-counter drugs, overdoing it can cause issues with headaches and migraines as well, she says. In addition, she suggests having an active life. 

“Regulating what you eat and exercising can help you discover if there are triggers in your body that are causing migraines to occur more frequently,” Dr. Ahmad says. 

For those who are experimental, the device costs $325, according to the company. The theory is that those who can’t handle the full throttle pain of a migraine have an opportunity to prevent them with this new technology. 

However, experts say the device is not a quick fix. On average, it takes two months to notice a reduction in migraine frequency, according to STX-Med in Herstal, the company that manufactures the product.

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Comments

7 Comments

  1. How about showing a picture of the device???

  2. Lynn Hutley

    I’ve often wished for some kind of pressure band on my temples when I start to get a migraine. Could be worth checking out someday.

  3. migraines Melbourne May 9, 2014 at 8:57 pm · Reply

    This is good news.

  4. cordelia_79720 May 16, 2014 at 12:18 am · Reply

    May I add “cold” …I’ve spent the night on the coolest floor area in the darkest corner I could find … and…something just glanced upon…’sexual fulfillment’ helps the pain, sometimes even breaks the pain altogether …

  5. Very interesting!

  6. Ernst Lamothe Jr May 20, 2014 at 3:03 pm · Reply

    Thank you. I just know for those who suffer through migraines, they are willing to try as many things as possible to eliminate the pain.

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.