Friday, February 5, 2010

Sleep Apnea – What a Headache!

Morning headaches are a common symptom of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

Past studies found that these headaches affect anywhere from 18 to 74 percent of OSA patients.

A study published last February in the journal Cephalalgia showed that morning headaches might trouble a third of OSA patients.

The study included 101 healthy individuals and 462 OSA patients.

An estimated nine percent of healthy participants reported morning headaches. In contrast, more than 33 percent of OSA patients suffered from headaches.

People with moderate and severe sleep apnea were most affected.

Morning headaches were more frequently reported by women and patients with a history of headaches.

The study did usher in good news, though.

CPAP treatment solved 90 percent of patient’s morning headache problems.

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is the gold standard of OSA treatment. While safe and effective, 25 to 50 percent of OSA patients cannot tolerate or comply with CPAP.

Many people use oral appliance therapy as an alterative. Oral appliance therapy is performed by dentists trained in dental sleep medicine.

1 comment:

  1. I will be interested in seeing EMG measurements associated with clenching (Google Jaw-tongue reflex) and bruxing that by nature anteiorizes the mandible to increase it's patentcy. The body survival priority is Airway then Breathing then Circulation. Could a signal of apnea from compromised airway be triggering these reactions and the symptoms that follow. Morning headaches beat choking to death. If we connect the dots,this may be a basic survival Reaction!

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The Official Blog of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) is intended as an information source only. Content of this blog should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment, and it is not a substitute for medical care, which should be provided by the appropriate health care professional. If you suspect you have a sleep-related breathing disorder, such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), you should consult your personal physician or visit an AASM-accredited sleep disorders center. The AADSM, and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, as the managing agent of the AADSM, assume no liability for the information contained on the Official Blog of the AADSM or for its use.