Almost everyone gets occasional headaches. Anything from a stressful day at the office to drinking too much alcohol during a night out with friends can cause them. Many people view headaches as short-term inconveniences. However, individuals with migraines know they can be severe and life-altering.
The Misery of Migraine Headaches
Migraines are a type of headache disorder that causes recurring head pain. Many people with them also experience additional symptoms, such as:
- Light and sound sensitivity
- Inability to tolerate movement
- Seeing auras or flashing lights
Migraine pain is typically more severe on one side of the head and characterized by a throbbing sensation. These headaches can persist for up to 72 hours if left untreated. Another challenge for migraine sufferers is that their headaches can have four phases, including one that starts up to a day before the pain begins. Relatedly, the fourth phase causes tiredness and confusion that can last up to 24 hours after the headache subsides.
A study also identified headache disorders as causing 46.6 million years lived with disability (YLD) globally — meaning the headaches prevented people from having good health. That figure represents 5.4% of total YLDs, with 88.2% linked to migraines.
Migraine headaches cause people to miss days of work. Alternatively, they’ll likely be less productive if they stay on the clock and fight through the pain. Individuals who live with migraines also know how these headaches can affect their leisure time and social lives. The effects span from having to cancel dinner plans to spending several days of a vacation in bed because of their symptoms.
Recurrent migraines also introduce feelings of guilt in individuals who have them. That’s especially true if the headaches prevent them from caring for their kids, spending time with their spouse, cooking meals or keeping the house clean.
How To Prevent Migraines
Migraine prevention requires a highly personalized approach led by your health care provider. However, even before visiting their doctors, many people look into an (OTC) over-the-counter migraine treatment, hoping those will provide much-needed relief.
One of the most common starting points of migraine prevention is to keep a headache diary. The information in it could help you narrow down what typically causes them.
Some triggers include:
- Bright lights
- Strong smells
- Weather changes
- Inconsistent meal times
- Specific foods
- Sleep changes
- Menstrual cycles
The headache diary is instrumental in establishing which preventive methods to try. For example, identifying stress as a main trigger may make it appropriate to begin a meditation program. Alternatively, if foods or mealtimes cause your migraines, a practical approach is to avoid some consumables and eat on a regular schedule.
Some physicians also prescribe medications that can stop migraines from developing. However, many patients prefer to try a drug-free treatment first, especially if they worry about side effects.
CEFALY is an OTC migraine treatment and preventive option. Could it stop the debilitating migraine cycle for you or a loved one?
What Is CEFALY?
CEFALY is a user-friendly medical device cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). When worn on your forehead, CEFALY targets the trigeminal nerve with a mild electric current, stimulating and gradually desensitizing this primary migraine pain pathway.
Use the device’s ACUTE mode for pain relief when experiencing the first signs of a migraine. Alternatively, rely on the PREVENT mode daily to decrease how often you experience these headaches.
Who Is CEFALY For?
This nonprescription migraine treatment is for adults who want to treat and prevent their aura and non-aura headaches. However, if you’re pregnant or trying to conceive, check with your doctor before use.
Other situations that require a physician’s advice include:
- You want to use CEFALY as someone under 18 or over 65
- You’ve recently injured your head
- You have known or suspected heart problems
- You’ve previously had a seizure
- Your doctor has never diagnosed you with migraines
- Your migraine’s severity requires bed rest
- Your migraine is the worst you’ve ever experienced
- Your migraine is affecting you differently than usual
- You have a stiff neck or fever with your headache
- Your discomfort began after an injury, exertion, bending or coughing
- Your first headache was after age 50
Information for Military Veterans
If you receive medical care from a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) location, CEFALY is a 100%-covered device under your benefits. Obtaining this treatment option starts by making an appointment with a VA provider. That professional will evaluate your condition and, if appropriate, send a consult to the facility’s prosthetics department. Your CEFALY kit will ship once the company receives the VA’s purchase order.
How Has This Nonprescription Migraine Treatment Helped?
Everyone responds to medical treatments differently. However, there’s a better chance of CEFALY working if you commit to using the device consistently for a few weeks while following the provided directions.
If you’re wondering what kinds of results to expect, 25.5% of clinical trial participants reported being pain-free after using CEFALY for two hours. Additionally, 56.4% said CEFALY relieved their most bothersome migraine symptoms after that usage time frame. The device eliminated all symptoms after two hours of use for 42.5% of individuals.
Another takeaway was that CEFALY reduced discomfort after two hours for 69.5% of individuals using it. Furthermore, 45.9% reported experiencing pain relief for at least 24 hours after their treatments.
Adverse incidents were rare with this OTC migraine treatment and most commonly included forehead discomfort, nausea and vomiting. However, all these side effects resolved and reversed fully after stopping use.
A different trial examined CEFALY results after one hour of use. Participants experienced a 59% reduction in their average pain intensity. Furthermore, 57% of people reported that their average pain reduction persisted for 24 hours, and 29% of participants said CEFALY made them pain-free after an hour. The potential adverse effects were similarly rare as with the previous study, resolved quickly and did not require specialized interventions.
How Long Does It Take to See Results?
When using a CEFALY device to treat current migraine symptoms, you should start initially experiencing pain relief after a few sessions. If you choose the CEFALY mode for migraine prevention, it’ll take two to three months to begin seeing results.
Types Of CEFALY Devices
CEFALY offers two device options — CEFALY Connected and CEFALY Enhanced. Both offer the PREVENT and ACUTE modes and provide five to seven hours of battery life per charge, depending on the selected treatment mode. However, the difference is that the CEFALY Connected device syncs with the accompanying CeCe app.
CeCe App Features
You can use the CeCe app without syncing it to CEFALY Connected. Doing that allows you to:
- Record when your migraines occur
- Note your symptoms, treatments and triggers
- See historical changes in migraine attacks
- Maintain a migraine journal
- Get reminders to use CEFALY
- Create migraine charts and graphs
- Download your data to share with your doctor
Additionally, syncing your CEFALY Connected with CeCe unlocks these additional capabilities:
- Check the intensity of each CEFALY session
- View the time left for a current treatment
- See the remaining battery life
- Log each migraine attack and CEFALY treatment automatically
No matter if you get the CEFALY Connected or CEFALY Enhanced, each drug-free migraine treatment device has these shared characteristics:
- 90-day return policy
- Three-year limited warranty
- HSA/FSA eligibility
- Charging dock
- USB cable
- Storage case
- Three included electrodes with bag
- One-on-one scheduled calls with a CEFALY Coach
How Much Does CEFALY Cost?
CEFALY is currently available in the United States, Canada and Europe. However, only customers from the United States and Canada can buy the CEFALY Connected model at present.
The prices for customers in the United States are as follows:
CEFALY Connected: $424
CEFALY Enhanced: $389
Use the country switcher feature at the top-right corner of CEFALY’s Shop page to get prices and product availability details for the Canadian and European markets.
You can also buy a bundle containing a CEFALY Connected device and six electrode kits with 18 total electrodes. It costs $524.
Otherwise, a three-pack of standard electrodes costs $25, or you can buy hypoallergenic versions for $33.
The company sells extra charging docks for $34.99 each. If you’re planning a trip soon, bring your CEFALY along in a travel case, sold for $29.99. CEFALY devices are air travel-friendly, whether you fly with them in a carry-on or checked bag. Some users even do treatments during flights.
How Does the Electrode Auto-Refill Program Work?
You can reuse each CEFALY electrode up to 20 times. The company has an auto-refill program that allows receiving new packs every 30, 60 or 90 days. This option saves you 5% on the above costs and provides free shipping. Customers can also change future shipment dates or cancel their subscriptions in their account settings.
Does CEFALY Offer Payment Plans?
Many migraine sufferers are so eager for symptom relief that they’ll try almost anything that might work. However, expenses can become a barrier, especially for people in high-cost-of-living areas.
CEFALY has partnered with Affirm and PayPal Credit, and both companies offer financing for qualifying customers. Take advantage of this option by adding a CEFALY device to your shopping cart and entering your shipping details. Then, choose your preferred provider and payment plan before completing the order.
Can People Trade In Their Older CEFALY Devices?
CEFALY devices arrived on the market in 2008. If you use an older model in the United States and want to upgrade it to a CEFALY Connected, the company has a trade-in program that allows you to save on the next purchase.
Start the process by contacting a customer service representative at the company. They will check your eligibility and help you order your new device while ensuring you receive the appropriate discount.
What Is A CEFALY Coach Session?
A CEFALY device comes with complimentary sessions that put you in touch with CEFALY experts. These are phone calls with people who can answer your questions and help you make the most of your purchase. The scheduled conversations can teach you how to use and care for your device, set the intensity and more.
The company recommends scheduling your first session within a few days of receiving your device. However, some customers do so before buying a product or after using their devices for a while. Be prepared to mention your goals during the conversation.
How Should People Do Their CEFALY Treatments?
CEFALY treatments are easy and can fit into your daily life. The manufacturer’s recommendations suggest using the CEFALY PREVENT treatment mode daily. Then, have a CEFALY ACUTE treatment session at the first signs of a migraine.
Do each session while relaxing, ideally while in a lying or reclined position. Press your device’s button once to start the ACUTE program. Alternatively, push the button twice — with a brief pause between each one — to choose the PREVENT program.
CEFALY devices offer various intensity levels. If you become accustomed to one and would like to go up a level, change the setting at any time during the first 14 minutes of a session by pressing the device button.
Hold it as you notice the intensity increasing. Release the button after reaching your desired level. Alternatively, you can go directly to the maximum level by pressing and holding the button for 30 seconds.
You should always use CEFALY devices at a tolerable intensity. Try gradually increasing the setting over several weeks. If you notice the pulses are too high, press the device’s button once to reduce the intensity.
Using Your CEFALY For The First Time
When you receive a CEFALY device, take it out of the box and charge it for at least four hours. The LED light will become green when the battery has a full charge. The battery does not have enough power to work properly if it’s yellow or the device makes a long beeping noise.
If you purchased a CEFALY Connected, download the CeCe app and pair your device to it with your phone’s Bluetooth settings.
Next, use soap and water to wash your forehead just above the eyebrows and thoroughly dry the area. Put the electrodes on your skin, ensuring the winged parts are slightly above each eyebrow.
Attach the CEFALY to the electrode, then select your desired treatment program. You should feel a gentle tingling or vibrating sensation once the mode activates. Experiment with different settings until you find an intensity that provides a strong — but comfortable — feeling.
Don’t worry if you notice your forehead is red for a short while after finishing a session. That’s a sign the CEFALY has increased blood flow to the area.
Are You Ready To Try CEFALY?
Untreated migraines can significantly impact your ability to participate in and enjoy life. Since CEFALY devices come with 90-day money-back guarantees, you may decide now is an ideal time to try one. The risk of side effects with this nonprescription migraine treatment is low, so you can look forward to the possibility of symptom relief that helps you live better and have fewer headaches.