Can Sleep Apnea Cause Migraine?


Sleep apnea and migraine are two common health conditions that can have a profound impact on an individual’s quality of life. While they may appear unrelated, recent studies have shed light on a potential connection between the two. In this article, we will explore the relationship between sleep apnea and migraines, addressing the questions of whether sleep apnea can cause migraines and vice versa. Understanding this link can help individuals suffering from these conditions seek appropriate treatment and management strategies for improved overall well-being.

Is Sleep Apnea And Migraine Linked?

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by repeated pauses in breathing during sleep. Migraine is a neurological disorder that cause severe headaches, often accompanied by additional migraine symptoms such as sensitivity to light and sensitivity to sound. Although they affect different systems in the body, research suggests that sleep apnea and migraine are linked.

Both sleep apnea and migraines have been associated with several comorbid conditions, such as obesity, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and depression. The presence of these comorbidities can further strengthen the connection between sleep apnea and migraines.

Can Sleep Apnea Cause Migraine?

Leading neurologist, Dr. Alexander Mauskop says that sleep apnea can cause migraine attacks. This is because sleep apnea disrupts sleep patterns which can cause migraine. Also, sleep apnea is characterized by reduced oxygen levels which can lead to inflammation trigger, activate pain pathways and change cerebral blood flow. This can aggravate migraine symptoms and cause tension headaches.

Can Migraine Cause Sleep Apnea?

Migraine may indirectly “cause” sleep apnea compared to individuals without migraine, because of potential factors such as obesity, hormonal changes, and inflammation.

Sleep apnea can be debilitating. If you suffer from migraine attacks and sleep apnea, you are highly likely to experience fatigue from migraine symptoms too.

Migraine And Sleep Apnea Treatment

Here are some migraine and sleep apnea treatment options:

  1. Treatment for sleep apnea typically involves continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, oral appliances, positional therapy. Some lifestyle modifications (such as weight loss and exercise) and home remedies may help alleviate sleep apnea symptoms.
  2. Treating migraine: Migraine management strategies may include lifestyle modifications (such as stress reduction, regular sleep patterns, and dietary adjustments). You can also manage migraine symptoms by using preventive medications, such as Ajovy. You can also use abortive OTC medications, such as Excedrin Migraine. You can also opt for alternative therapies like relaxation techniques, biofeedback, or acupuncture.
  3. Screen time tips: Make sure you manage your screen time because excessive screen time is associated with migraine symptoms.
Jenny from Migraine Buddy

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