Sleep Apnea Headaches
A common symptom of sleep apnea is a sleep apnea headache or a morning headache. However, waking up with a morning headache doesn’t necessarily mean obstructive sleep apnea; there are many reasons to wake up with a headache. But this symptom, coupled with others from the list above, is a sign that you should get tested for obstructive sleep apnea.
A sleep apnea headache is one you wake up with at least 15 days a month. It feels like something is pressing across both sides of your head and can last up to four hours.
Unlike other headaches or migraines, you won’t feel any sensitivity to light or sound, pulsing pain, or nausea. But be aware that if you are prone to migraines, the constant stress of a sleep apnea morning headache could trigger a migraine.
Distinguishing a Sleep Apnea Headache
- Lasts 30 minutes to 4 hours
- Pressing pain rather than pulsing
- No light or sound sensitivity
- No nausea
- It happens about half of the month
- Feel pain on both sides of your head
Sleep apnea headaches occur because of your fragmented sleep. When you have moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea, your brain is deprived of enough oxygen for the blood vessels in your head to swell and cause pain. However, this could also be a symptom of other sleep disorders, such as insomnia. That’s why it’s crucial to get a sleep test to be sure you know why your morning headaches and other symptoms are occurring.
Get tested for obstructive sleep apnea if you wake up with chronic morning headaches. Call (515) 222-0505 or make an appointment online to get started. Our sleep dentist, Dr. Douglas Pick, can help you along your sleep apnea treatment journey.
Dangerous Consequences of Untreated Sleep Apnea
The symptoms of sleep apnea are disruptive at best and life-threatening at worst. Leaving it untreated can result in workplace and automobile accidents, a loss of joy in life, relationship trouble, and low professional performance.
Sleep apnea is more than not getting enough sleep. It’s not getting quality sleep because your body can’t pass through all the stages of sleep. Each stage is vital, with REM and deep sleep being restorative stages. During these stages, your body repairs cells, releases hormones, and cleanses the brain of toxic chemical buildup from daily brain function. Without progressing through these stages, you’ll be at risk for severe consequences.
- Heart failure
- Heart attacks
- Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease
If you think you might have sleep apnea, get a sleep test and seek treatment from Dr. Douglas Pick, Des Moines premiere sleep dentist. Call (515) 222-0505 or make an appointment online.
Who Is At Risk?
A common misconception is that only overweight, older men are at risk. While this is a risk category, it doesn’t mean that these are the only people who can get sleep apnea. Anyone can have it, regardless of age, gender, and weight. With that said, here are some more risk factors..
Excessive Weight: Extra weight puts more pressure on the tissues in your airway, and when your muscles are relaxed, your airway could collapse or become partially obstructed.
Neck Circumference: People with thicker necks could have a more narrow airway. This doesn’t necessarily mean excess weight.
Genetically Narrow Airway: Some are born with a narrow airway. You may be at risk.
Family History: Do members of your family have sleep apnea? If you snore loudly or experience other symptoms, getting a sleep test is worth it.
Alcohol, Drugs, and Sleep Medications: Alcohol, drugs, and medication relax your muscles heavily and could cause an obstruction. It’s best to avoid these things if you have sleep apnea.
Smoking: Smoking causes inflammation in your airway and mucus build-up. If you think you have it, or know you have it, it’s best to quit smoking.
Seeking treatment for sleep apnea can change your whole life. With treatment, you’ll rid yourself of the symptoms and lower your risk for severe consequences.
Get Sleep Apnea Treatment in Des Moines Today
Treatment in Des Moines shouldn’t be hard or complicated. We offer comprehensive, compassionate treatment for those who suffer from OSA. We’ll examine the results of your sleep study and make a treatment recommendation based on the severity of your disorder, your lifestyle, adherence to treatment, and budget. For those with mild to moderate, we’ll provide you with a custom oral appliance that holds your airway open while you sleep.
If you need a recommendation for a sleep study, give us a call! We are your resource for all things sleep apnea and are happy to help. Call Dr. Douglas Pick at (515) 222-0505 or make an appointment online today.