Can sleep apnea cause headaches? The answer is YES.  

Sleep apnea headaches, especially in the mornings, are just one main and common side-effect of the syndrome. In fact, 50% of people who wake up with headaches are believed to have sleep apnea. Headaches are most commonly faced by patients with moderate to severe sleep apnea when the oxygen level drops down due to the intermittent breathing caused by obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Causes of Sleep Apnea Sleep is air to be trapped in the lungs, and this de-oxygenated air is the waste product carbon dioxide. It gathers in the lungs and recycles into the bloodstream.  This lack of oxygen in the bloodstream, along with a collection of carbon dioxide, It also negatively affects the brain first and then leads to sleep apnea headaches.

According to Research of this Apnea and TMJ specialist with the California Center for TMJ Disorders, it is stated as ‘this excess level of carbon dioxide that causes the headache”.  They explain “When Carbon Dioxide Rises it causes the blood vessels in and around the head to dilate This dilation results in a migraine that is very throbbing and irritating. There are some important differences between sleep apnea headaches and migraines, though.”

Sleep Apnea and Headache

Sleep Apnea Headaches Typically Causes:

  • Pain and Pressure felt on both sides of the head
  • Squander patient wakes up and breathes normally (usually within the hour).
  • Regularly reoccur

Migraines Typically Causes: 

  • Pain and Pressure felt on one side of the head
  • It May last for hours or days
  • It Can be accompanied by vision loss
  • It Cause nausea and vomiting
  • It Cause patient light sensitive

The different types of headaches that can be caused by these apnea include:

  • Cluster headaches – Headaches that occur in clusters or patterns during cluter periods that may last for weeks or months.
  • Hypnic headaches – It is Moderate throbbing headaches that causes irritation while sleeping and wake the sufferer up one or more times during the night.
  • OSA headaches -Headaches caused by the widening of blood vessels.

Sleep apnea and headaches go in partnership, especially in older patients who often wake up a few hours after sleeping with a severe headache. Mostly headaches occur due to it and it may irritate you between 4 AM – 9 AM, but they can also occur at night before bed.

Unfortunately, once you begin to experience sleep apnea headaches you can stuck in a cycle of pain on a daily basis. This is because chronically lessen in sleep creates a obligation in your system that leads to stress and inflammatory changes in your body, especially when hypoxemia, which is an abnormally low concentration of oxygen in the blood occurs.

Patients with chronic headaches may be hope to keep a publication for three months to track process and patterns for attacks. However, you may also be advised to be tested for apnea with a simple, at-home test.

Aside from waking with a headache other apnea symptoms include:

  • Waking with a dry mouth
  • Excess of daytime fatigue
  • Weight gain
  • Anxiety or mood swings
  • Insomnia
  • Loud snoring while sleeping
  • Heartburn & Acidity
  • Difficulty to focus

If you think that you may be at risk for this apnea don’t hesitate to take your life back. Many Patients of TMJ Center instantly feel revived after just a few visits at our center after meeting our specialist professional doctors and Put an end to sleep apnea headaches now!

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TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre
of Conejo Valley and Los Angeles

555 Marin St. Suite #108,
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360
805.496.5700

11980 San Vicente Blvd. #619
Brentwood, CA 90049
310.401.0813

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