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Friday, 08 January 2016 14:19

A Life Without Headaches...Well, Almost

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I’ve been asked about my “Daith Piercing” by so many people I decided a blog of 'my experience' might be useful, so here goes:

 Just over three months ago I began to seriously consider getting a daith piercing as I'd read several articles that suggested it may help prevent migraine. 

If you've read my blogs you’ll know I have Ushers syndrome, a form of deafblindness, where the blindness is progressive due to a rare genetic condition called Retinitus Pigmentosa. 

For me the progression in sight loss was very fast, I became registered blind within 2 years and today get by with just 5 degrees of vision, the majority of which is in my right eye. 

Having been deaf but ‘sighted’ from birth, strangely, I am still a ‘visual’ person, I still learn visually, and rely sometimes on some visual clues which is not only exhausting but leads to one of the most draining of side effects, migraine. 

I live with a permanent headache and often get very severe migraine, it can be relentless.

Many people with Usher or RP suffer hugely from migraine and headaches which are often related to eyestrain.

So I figured, what do I have to lose? 

I'm a fan of personal creative tattoos and some piercings (sorry Mum!).

The daith piercing is one I would never have been able to have with my old hearing aids because the ear moulds I had back then filled my ears completely.

For 19 years of my life I have worn hearing aids, up until eight months ago my hearing aids had always had full ear moulds. 

From the very beginning I loved to be creative with my hearing aids having every colour hearing aid and ear mould. 

See embarrassing childhood photo above! 

I remain delighted with my ReSound Linx 2 hearing aids, not only are they the ultimate in assistive hearing aid technology but also 

they are so modern and tiny and for the first time for me no ear moulds but ear domes which are quite different to what I'd had previously.

My ears are no longer completely covered with ear moulds, I remember the first fitting, they felt very different.

Domes took quite a bit of getting used to, they fit snuggly in the ear canal meaning my outer ear felt quite strange, exposed and my ears did feel cold at first.

I know some who use Linx2 choose to stick with ear moulds again personal preference.

I wanted to try the domes as they made the smaller, neater hearing aid look more discreet.

I’m not embarrassed about being deaf but it is nice to put my hair up without knowing people are staring at my ears, not that I can see them staring, but I can sense it!  

It also means the breeze could swoosh in and around my ear, another strange sensation! 

I was also told that using domes and having a more “naked” ear allows a different hearing experience, as the ear reacts a little differently.

I’m no expert on how the ear functions but I can say I love my new hearing aids, the whole hearing experience of Linx2 is outstanding.

Anyway, back to the subject of my daith piercing. 

There was very little information online to validate the ‘Cures Migraine' claim, most research led to the 'possibility' of an improvement. 

For me, ANYTHING to improve or maybe even prevent the constant headaches, not dangerous worth a try rather than taking tablets more often than I'm comfortable with. 

Research says it works similarly to acupuncture targeting pressure points, allowing or improving comfort.

I considered this piercing carefully, my main concern was that this would not interfere with my hearing aids.

I did the research and asked for advice, the staff at Urban Piercings (Reading) were incredibly helpful too (Thank you!) .

I decided to take the plunge, I walked into the salon and as soon as I was seen made the lady very aware of my hearing aids, she considered my situation carefully and studied my ears carefully before deciding it was safe to proceed. 

It was decided to very slightly reposition the sighting of the piercing meaning it would not interfere with me needing to touch my ears daily putting in and taking out my hearing aids.

I must be honest the actual being pierced was painful and then the piercing very delicate for a few weeks. 

It quickly became very apparent that the ‘pressure points’ had been targeted as my neck and the back of my head have not felt so tense since. 

I do still experience headaches though these have not been across the back of my head or down my neck (migraines).

The headaches I continue to get now are more related to eye strain, a pain that goes across my eyes and around my face, something very common with my condition. My Mum will be pleased to know I have no plans to get my face pierced! 

I've now had my daith piercing for just over three months and it has made a difference to me.

My headaches haven't disappeared completely but my migraines have so far.

I remain open minded about this and hope my migraines stay away.

This blog is of my experience, I am not an expert so if you are considering this piercing I would advise proper research and if a hearing aid user like myself there needs to be due consideration.

Pictures above:  

1. Old holiday photo of me around the age of 8/9 wearing bright blue hearing aids, complete with blue full ear moulds.

2.  A side profile picture of me now, wearing ReSound Linx 2 hearing aids, complete with domes - don’t worry if you can’t see them, that’s the idea!

3.  Lastly a side profile of myself with subtle daith piercing.

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