Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Years with Migraines: 30+ years
How long have you had migraines?
I’ve had migraines since I was in college.
When do you usually get migraines?
No definite triggers except for perfume and often bright lights and loud noises. I think chocolate contributes to my migraines.
What have you tried pre-Cefaly?
I’ve tried all of the migraine medications. Currently I’m on tricyclic antidepressant and Gabapentin as migraine preventives. I take Rizatriptan as a rescue medication but it often doesn’t work. Sometimes I take Ibuprofen. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. I’ve also been doing neurotoxin injections for 2-3 years. That’s eliminated the migraines that start in the back of neck but it doesn’t work for the ones that start in my eyeball. I started using Cefaly since it became available in the U.S. in 2014. I find the neurotoxin injections and the Cefaly have worked well together because the injections work for the back on my head but I still get migraines in the front and eyeball regions and those can often be lessened or relieved by the Cefaly.
What does your migraine feel like?
It’s just like a knitting needle going through my eyeball and it’s usually on my left side. It starts on the left but will often spread — not to temples — but to forehead and to my scalp. It gets to the point where it’s hard to open my eyes. The knitting needle pain feels like a sharp stabbing pain through my eye and my scalp often feels like it’s in a vice grip, like it’s just being squeezed.
How did you hear about Cefaly?
I heard about it on the news when it first came out.
What’s your Cefaly experience like?
I first got Cefaly I when it came on the market and now I have Cefaly II, which is more compact so it’s easier to take along to work or on vacation. I don’t use the Cefaly daily so I can’t say how many migraines it would prevent. I use Cefaly when I have a migraine and it feels very good while I’m doing it. It feels like the parts that hurt are getting a massage. Sometimes the Cefaly will relieve my migraine so it goes away. When it doesn’t totally relieve it, then cefaly will usually reduces the pain. I often need to use Cefaly through 2-3 cycles in a row, so I am using it for 40 or 60 minutes. When I have a bad headache or migraine and I can’t sleep at night because of it, then I’ll put the Cefaly on for a session or two and it will relieve it enough to put me to sleep. Cefaly often makes me sleepy and I fall to sleep during the first or second session and take a short nap, which also helps relieve my migraine. Cefaly has definitely been positive for me. I do think you have to get used to it. It took me a couple weeks to get used to the sensation. I still rarely use it on maximum strength. I like Cefaly II because it can be increased immediately to the strength I need and then if I need to adjust it stronger or weaker then I can do that while wearing it. The original cefaly takes about 5 minutes to get to the strength I need and once I stop it a specific point, I can not increase or decrease the strength, like I can with Cefaly II. I’d say that in a month Cefaly will lessen 10 migraines for me and eliminate three to five migraines.
What made you want to share your story?
When I was thinking about trying Cefaly I wanted to see how it was working for other people but at that time there was no information. So, for the next person thinking about Cefaly I wanted to be able to give them my information to help them determine whether it might be right for them.
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If you’re wondering if Cefaly is right for you, click here for more information and, of course, check with your doctor.