January 21, 2020
Each day, millions of people wake up with a headache. It may not be anything to worry about if it only happens occasionally, but if you’re experiencing pain virtually every morning, it could mean that you’re not getting enough sleep – or that the sleep you are getting is of very poor quality. Headaches are a common symptom of sleep apnea in Skokie; it’s important to learn as much as you can about this connection and the potential steps you can take to solve the problem.
How Do You Know If a Headache is Caused by Sleep Apnea?
Many people will confuse a sleep apnea headache for a regular migraine since both result in throbbing, irritating pain. However, a migraine is normally only felt on one set of the head, can last for hours or even days, and might be accompanied by nausea or visual impairments. Meanwhile, a sleep apnea headache inflicts pain on both sides of your head and will normally go away within an hour of waking up. Such headaches might also occur alongside other signs of sleep apnea in Skokie including loud snoring and being far too drowsy during the day.
Why Does Sleep Apnea Cause Headaches?
When you have sleep apnea, your airway becomes blocked and prevents your body from getting the oxygen it needs. Without oxygen, carbon dioxide levels rise and cause the blood vessels in and around your head to dilate; the result is a throbbing headache.
Believe it or not, this pain may be the least of your problems. Reduced oxygen levels lead to high blood pressure, and eventually you could have a heart attack or a stroke. If you continuously experience a headache in the morning, you should see an expert in sleep medicine in Skokie right away; your life could be in danger if a sleep disorder goes undiagnosed.
What Can Be Done About Sleep Apnea Headaches?
A sleep dentist can help you find an appropriate form of therapy for your disorder. Traditionally, sleep apnea patients have used a CPAP machine to keep their airways open at night, but unfortunately not everyone is able to tolerate these devices. That’s why sleep dentists offer oral appliances as an alternative. By simply making a small change in the positioning of the jaw, an oral appliance can make sure the tissues in the mouth and throat don’t block the airway.
Since sleep apnea symptoms tend to only get worse over time, you’ll want to make an appointment to have your condition diagnosed and treated immediately as soon as you think something is wrong. Once your sleep apnea has been successfully treated, your headaches should stop – and you’ll be able to enjoy a good night’s sleep again!
About the Author
Dr. David B. Schwartz has been practicing dentistry since 1988, and he has become one of the nation’s foremost experts in the field of dental sleep. As one of only 250 dentists in the United States to be named a Diplomate of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, he’s an expert in helping patients find solutions for their sleep apnea. To schedule an appointment at his practice, Sleep Better Chicagoland, visit his website or call (847) 677-2808.
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