Devices Used to Treat Migraines

If you think that you are stuck with migraine headaches, it might be time to think again.

Not all adults are able to tolerate medications used to treat migraines, but a prescription device may be able to help. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a pair of device for marketing, and they are the Cefaly transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation device and the Cerena Transcranial Magnetic Stimulator.

Clinical studies have shown that both devices are effective treatments, and that they have limited side effects or risks when used as instructed.

Intense throbbing pain in a specific area of the head, as well as light sensitivity and nausea are common symptoms of a migraine headache. If left untreated, a migraine can last as long as 72 hours at a time.

Statistics from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) show that about 37 million (12%) of Americans suffer from migraines. Both children and adults can be affected, but females are 3 times more likely than males to have a migraine. Roughly 18% of women have experienced a migraine headache.

Of the overall number of migraine sufferers, about one-third also experience visual disturbances (blind spots, flashing lights, or spot) at the onset of a migraine.

The Devices that Treat Migraines

Michael Hoffmann, a biomedical engineer with the FDA, explained that these types of devices are necessary, mostly because anti-migraine medications often come with side effects that many patients simply cannot handle.

The Cerena device is put into use when a migraine sufferer feels as though a headache is about to begin. This was the first such device to be granted marketing approval by the FDA, as it has proven effective in relieving migraine pain.

When using the Cerena device, the patient is required to hold the unit against the back of their head. A button on the device is pressed down for less than a second, after which it releases a magnetic pulse used to stimulate the occipital cortex of the brain.

The Cerena device uses Transcranial Magnetic Stimulator (TMS) technology, which has been studied for a while now, but which has just recently been approved for certain clinical uses. Cefaly transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) uses electrical nerve stimulation passed through the skin, and is the first such device to be granted FDA approval. Patients over the age of 18 use the device to prevent the onset of migraine headaches.

Patients who use Cefaly on a daily basis have been found to experience fewer days where they experience a migraine headache. TENS technology was previously used for the treatment of general pain, but is now authorized as a preventative device for migraine sufferers.




All you Need to Know About Statins and Cholesterol Control

Even if you are in good physical shape, your doctor may still surprise you with a high cholesterol diagnosis when you have your annual physical. If this happens, there is a very good chance that your doctor will want to talk to you about a medication known as statin.

Below, we are going to try and answer some of the more common questions about cholesterol and statins.

  1. What are statins, and how do they work?

Statins are medicines that are used to treat high cholesterol in the blood, most of which is made by your liver. Statins help get the amount of cholesterol made under control, whilst also ridding the blood of the excess cholesterol that is already there.

  1. Why is high cholesterol considered to be unhealthy?

The human body requires cholesterol, but when too much is produced, it can form as a plaque buildup on the artery walls, which can then potentially lead to heart disease or stroke. For many years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued numbers showing that heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in the U.S.

  1. What’s the difference between “good” and “bad” cholesterol?

When cholesterol enters the bloodstream, it us carried by particles known as lipoproteins. Most cholesterol is carried by low-density lipoprotein (LDL) particles. These are what are referred to as “bad” cholesterol, since higher LDL levels are often the cause of heart disease and stroke.

Good” cholesterol is found in high-density lipoprotein (HDL) particles. These are considered to be good because they are carried back to the liver, where they can then be removed from the body. Your doctor can better explain your levels, and what they might man for your heart health.

  1. Can cholesterol levels be kept in check with a healthy diet and regular exercise?

If you are looking to reduce the risk of heart disease and keep cholesterol in check, then a healthy diet and regular exercise should be considered a must. That said, there are other factors, like genetics, that we can essentially do nothing to control. Some people will find that living a healthy lifestyle will not be enough to keep their cholesterol numbers at a healthy level.

Even if your current cholesterol levels do not appear particularly high, your doctor may still recommend statins if you are considered to be at a higher risk of heart attack or stroke. Statins have proven effective in reducing the risk of both stroke and heart attacks.

  1. Are there any risks associated with taking statins

Generally speaking, there are very few issues associated with taking statins. Two risks that patients should be aware of are muscle-related complaints, as well as an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Muscle issues can be experienced by anyone, so you need to check with your doctor to see if they are indeed being caused by statins. It is in very rare cases that severe muscle issues come as a result of statin use.

  1. Is it okay to drink grapefruit juice while taking statins?

Fresh grapefruit and grapefruit juice have been known to have an effect on how some medicines work. This is true with some, but not all, statins. It is also possible that other medications may also interact with the efficacy of statins. Always talk to your healthcare professional about potential issues before you start taking statins.


Claustrophobia Treatment Tips

Claustrophobia is one of the most common phobias. It is a situational phobia triggered by an irrational and intense fear of tight or crowded spaces. It frequently results in a panic attack and can be triggered by things such as being in a crowded elevator, a small room without any windows, or driving on a congested highway.

Claustrophobia Symptoms: For some people, claustrophobia may disappear on its own. Others may need therapy to manage and cope with their symptoms. Symptoms of claustrophobia vary. However, some common symptoms include: sweating, increased heart rate, dizziness, hyperventilating, inability to breathe, headaches, and trembling.

Claustrophobia Treatment Tips: If you experience any of these symptoms, you should see a doctor. Don’t wait until your claustrophobia becomes too overwhelming because an early diagnosis can help you better manage your symptoms. Claustrophobia is most commonly treated by psychotherapy. Different types of counseling can help you overcome your fear and manage your triggers. Counter conditioning and exposure therapy (gradually exposing people to situations that trigger anxiety) can help people build a tolerance and learn coping mechanisms. Others can benefit from therapy or medication.