If you or someone you know suffers from migraines, you know how debilitating they can be. There is something new just coming to the market to treat them- not a drug, but a headband- that a doctor in this area tried out, and has recommended to a few of his patients.
It's called the Cefaly device, manufactured by a small company in Belgium. It's been available in Europe and Canada for about a year now, but was just recently approved by the FDA for use here in the United States for the treatment of migraines.
"Migraine is a condition that is a disease state. We carry migraine like we do hypertension and diabetes," said Dr. Todd Rozen, a headache specialist, Director of Geisinger's Headache Center, and himself a sufferer of migraines.
He says a migraine isn't your typical headache. It's moderate-to-severe in intensity, typically one-sided, and cause nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and/or sound.
"Migraine is a disorder of the brain. It's in the brain, part of the brain, a central nervous disorder," he said.
There are medications to get rid of headache pain, but nothing quite like what's called the Cefaly device, a headband, or trans-cutaneous neuro-stimulator. It stimulates two particular nerves related to migraine headaches and is used 20-minutes per day to prevent them.
"I actually did try it recently. It was quite an intense experience- I thought it would be more benign. And people have to realize that before they buy it. It takes a week or two to get used to it," Dr. Rozen told us.
He says he's prescribed it to five of his patients, who are now waiting to get their hands on one. Even though the Cefaly device is for sale online, you do need a prescription from your doctor to get it. It costs around $300. As soon as one of his patients can try it, we'll let you know what they think.