Why Headaches Might Be Your Only Sleep Apnea Symptom

There are many potential symptoms of sleep apnea. Most people experience daytime sleepiness, loss of energy, and memory problems as their most significant symptoms. But a small number of people may experience sleep apnea headaches without getting other symptoms.

We’re not sure why this is, but it’s important that people take morning headaches seriously before other symptoms and injury appear.

Not Related to the Severity of Sleep Apnea

Business man with a severe headacheOne of the reasons why people might experience sleep apnea headaches but not other symptoms is that that headaches aren’t related to the severity of sleep apnea. People with sleep apnea headaches don’t have worse oxygen saturation. They don’t have longer apneic episodes or more of them.

This makes sleep apnea headaches different from other sleep apnea symptoms, most of which increase as apnea gets worse, and may not even be perceived when they first develop. As a result, sleep apnea headaches can serve as a warning sign for people who are just beginning to develop sleep apnea.

We Don’t Understand Sleep Apnea Headaches

So, why are sleep apnea headaches different from other sleep apnea symptoms? We’re not entirely certain. We aren’t even certain of the mechanism that links sleep apnea to headaches in the first place. We just know that there’s a link. And we know that it affects maybe 12-18% of sleep apnea sufferers.

And we know that sleep apnea treatment can help eliminate sleep apnea headaches.

Tired of Morning Headaches?

Morning headaches can be associated with lots of different disorders, and when people report morning headaches, your doctor might not be thinking about sleep apnea, and may diagnose you with migraine or tension headache instead. If the headache treatment you’re using now isn’t working, we might be able to help.

Please call (402) 493-4175 for an appointment with an Omaha sleep dentist at the Advanced Dental Sleep Treatment Center.