Is Sleep Apnea Giving You a Headache?

Headache in bed

Did you know that having constant headaches in Denver could be a sign you’re not getting enough quality rest? The 4 million people suffering from chronic migraines – meaning they experience headaches 15 days a month or more – are generally anywhere between 2 to 8 times more likely to have a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea. If you’re tired of waking up to the pain so often, read on to learn more about sleep apnea and its link to headaches – and most importantly, what can be done about it.

What Happens When You Have Sleep Apnea?

If you snore loudly at night, or if your spouse has noticed you gasping for air in your sleep, it may be a sign that you have sleep apnea. In most cases, this condition is caused by relaxed tissues or muscles in your mouth and throat blocking the airway, making it difficult to breathe. If the oxygen levels in the blood become too low, the brain wakes the body up. As a result of these frequent interruptions, you’re likely to be exhausted during the day.

How Can Sleep Apnea Give You a Headache?

Of course, when your body isn’t getting enough oxygen, you’re likely to suffer from some serious side effects when it comes to your health. One of the most common symptoms is frequent headaches, which could possibly be linked to the low oxygen and high carbon dioxide levels you’ll experience throughout the night.

How Do I Know If My Headache is Caused by Sleep Apnea?

Of course, there are plenty of reasons why a headache might occur; however, there’s a good chance that it’s linked to sleep apnea if:

  • You also suffer from insomnia, mood swings, daytime drowsiness, and other common sleep apnea symptoms.
  • The headaches occur frequently.
  • The pain is on both sides of the head.
  • The headaches typically last about 4 hours at a time.

You should make an appointment with a sleep dentist as soon as possible to confirm whether or not you have a sleep disorder; once you’ve been diagnosed, you can seek an appropriate treatment – one that should also reduce your headaches.

How Can Sleep Apnea Be Treated?

While using a CPAP machine to force air into the patient’s throat throughout the night has long been the traditional approach to treating sleep apnea, it won’t help if you can’t tolerate it long enough to fall asleep while wearing it. Many sleep dentists will instead recommend oral appliances; these simple devices can reposition the jaw and open up the airway, helping you breathe freely and easily during the night.

There are other sleep apnea treatment options that you can explore as well. The most important thing is to make sure to get the help you need as quickly as possible. That way you’ll be able to get a good night’s sleep and wake up feeling refreshed and pain-free again.

About the Author

Dr. Gary Radz was once diagnosed with severe sleep apnea. Unable to tolerate a CPAP machine, he soon discovered the advantages of using an oral appliance, and for the past 7 years he has been offering the treatment as a solution for patients struggling with sleep disorders of their own. If you have sleep apnea or suspect your headache might be linked to sleep apnea, make an appointment with Dr. Radz by visiting his website or calling (303) 298-1442.

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