December 21, 2019
Have you noticed that your head has been hurting every time you wake up lately? One in 13 people suffer from early morning headaches, and while the pain is often simply the result of a migraine, it could also signify something much more dangerous. More to the point, headaches in Weatherford are a common symptom of moderate to severe sleep apnea, which can be dangerous if untreated. To learn more about how poor quality sleep can frequently lead to pain – and what you can do to stop the cycle – keep reading.
What’s the Link Between Morning Headaches and Sleep Apnea?
When you have sleep apnea, your airway becomes blocked multiple times during the night, usually due to relaxed muscles or tissues in the mouth or throat. As a result, you stop breathing, and air becomes trapped in your lungs. Carbon dioxide (the waste product that forms after your lungs remove the oxygen from the air) is then moved to the bloodstream, causing the blood vessels in and around your head to dilate. The result is a throbbing headache.
What’s the Difference Between Sleep Apnea Headaches and a Migraine?
While it can be easy to confuse a sleep apnea headache for a migraine, it’s sometimes possible to tell the difference between the two. Sleep apnea headaches are usually felt on both sides of the head and tend to go away within an hour of waking up; in contrast, migraines are normally only felt on one side of your head and can last for several hours or even days.
What If You Ignore a Sleep Apnea Headache?
You might think your sleep apnea headaches are manageable at first, but the longer your sleep disorder goes unaddressed, the longer you’ll have to live with the pain on a daily basis. Even worse, the frequent drops in oxygen levels will continue to affect the rest of your body, and you could eventually suffer from life-threatening strokes or heart attacks.
How Can You Treat Your Sleep Apnea Headaches?
Obviously, the most effective solution for your sleep apnea-related headaches is to treat the sleep apnea itself. Once your sleep dentist has diagnosed the disorder with an at-home study, they can offer an appropriate type of treatment. For example, an oral appliance can readjust the position of your jaw so that your airway stays open throughout the night. These appliances are sometimes used in combination with CPAP machines that continuously pump air into your throat.
It’s always better for your health and quality of life to have sleep apnea in Weatherford treated sooner rather than later. If you think your morning headaches are the result of sleep disordered breathing, get in touch with a professional right away!
About the Author
Dr. Deborah A. Romack has been attending education courses about airway obstruction and sleep apnea since 2005, and as a result she’s become an expert in identifying and treating sleep breathing disorders with the latest techniques and technologies. Her goal is to improve the lives of her patients by helping them get the good night’s sleep they deserve. If you think you’re suffering from sleep apnea headaches, you can contact her practice, Weatherford Dental Sleep Medicine, by visiting her website or calling (817) 594-3806.
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