Are you waking up every morning with a headache or migraine? Your problem may not be your head; you may have obstructive sleep apnea. Dr. Caracioni treats many sleep apnea patients who report head pain as a common symptom.
What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a chronic condition in which breathing stops during sleep when the airway becomes blocked. The airway can become blocked by enlarged tonsils or adenoids, when the throat muscles become too relaxed and collapse into the throat, or if the jaw is out of position and the tongue falls back and blocks the airway during sleep.
Sleep apnea has been linked to other major health conditions like heart attack, stroke, diabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome.
How Does Obstructive Sleep Apnea Cause Headaches or Migraines?
Headaches are a common consequence of obstructive sleep apnea because when the airway becomes blocked and breathing stops, you get less oxygen to your brain. Low levels of oxygen cause vasodilation, or the widening of blood vessels. When this happens, many people suffer head pain, also known as a vascular headache.
Obstructive sleep apnea has also been proven to cause high blood pressure, which has also been linked to the development of headaches and migraines.
Getting Back to Good Sleep
Dr. Caracioni treats obstructive sleep apnea through the use of a dental orthotic. This device helps to align the jaw to keep it in the correct position, which in turn keeps the tongue in its proper position. When the tongue is in the proper position, it will not fall back and block the airway during sleep.
As a result of wearing your orthotic, you can breathe easier while you sleep. Your oxygen level is maintained, your blood vessels are not forced to dilate, and your blood pressure remains normal. You wake up not only without head pain, but also well-rested and ready to start the day.
If you’re tired of waking up with headaches, talk to Dr. Caracioni about your options for sleep apnea treatment. Call 785-783-0741 to schedule your consultation.