Oxygen Therapy Can Help Cluster Headaches

Struggling With a Rare Diagnosis

"The first eight months before I had any diagnosis were hell," said Ott, who said primary care doctors misdiagnosed his pain as sinus trouble. "All the first neurologist gave me was Vicodin. It kept me from throwing myself out the window."

Cluster headaches are sometimes referred to as "suicide headaches" because some people have taken their own life to end the severe pain.

"You're irrational because the pain is so bad," explained Ott. I'll be banging my head against the wall, biting my arm, or pulling my hair… it's like you're possessed and you will do anything to stop the pain."

Dr. Robert Shapiro, of the University of Vermont, affirmed that "cluster headache attacks are widely regarded as the most severe form of human pain known."

Yet, Ott said his doctors never told him about using oxygen, but fellow cluster headache sufferers shared the technique on message boards at Clusterheadaches.com

"You have to take your own care into your hands," said Ott. "My doctor said the amount of time spent on cluster headaches in medical school is a half an hour, maybe."

ABC News' Michelle Schlief contributed to this report.

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