Oral Appliance Therapy | Sleep Apnea Headaches
Waking up with a headache, particularly after what you think was a restful night’s sleep, is extremely frustrating. A morning headache starts your day off on the wrong foot, making it impossible to get a fresh, happy start. Sleep apnea is one potential cause of this painful issue.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder where breathing stops and starts. It happens because either the upper airway gets blocked by soft tissues or the signals from the brain stop telling you to breathe. Eventually, the low oxygen triggers a gasp for air, and the person starts breathing again. You might have sleep apnea if you snore loudly or feel exhausted even after a full night’s sleep.
How Does Sleep Apnea Cause Headaches in the Morning?
When we stop breathing over and over while sleeping, the air becomes trapped in the lungs and the bloodstream. This de-oxygenated air is full of toxic carbon dioxide gasses that build up. When your brain and nervous system do not receive adequate oxygen, the blood vessels in your head dilate, which may cause a painful headache.
So basically, low oxygen and high carbon dioxide levels during the repetitive apnea episodes throughout the night are the culprits.
Typically, sleep apnea causes morning headaches. They are present on awakening and tend to improve after a while. They can mimic tension, cluster headaches, or migraines. Most sufferers experience the following headache symptoms:
- – Pain above the eyebrows on both sides of the head
- – Headache typically lasting from 30 minutes to 2 hours
- – Daily occurrences
How Do You Treat Sleep Apnea Morning Headaches?
Of course, you can treat the headache with over-the-counter painkillers. But, if sleep apnea is the underlying cause, you must eliminate the cause of the headaches. Why treat the symptom when you can treat the cause?
At Snoring and Sleep Apnea, LLC, we provide alternative treatments for obstructive sleep apnea. We pay special attention to oral appliances such as a mandibular advancement device (which looks similar to a mouth guard). They snap over your teeth and position your lower jaw forward to keep the airway open.
Dr. Burman can also perform a non-invasive procedure called NightLase to treat the symptom of snoring, or in combination with oral appliance therapy to address obstructive sleep apnea, before considering surgery or if you are unable to use a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. NightLase is FDA-approved and uses laser energy to warm and tighten the soft tissues at the back of your throat and soft palate.
What Are The Benefits of Oral Appliance Therapy?
Custom oral appliances are more likely to be used than a CPAP machine. Oral appliances fit the unique curves of your teeth; you don’t have to wear a mask or turn a loud device on to experience the benefits. Plus, custom oral appliances are easy to transport.
Get Your Oral Appliance Therapy for Sleep Apnea Headaches in Jupiter, Florida
Make an appointment at Snoring and Sleep Apnea Therapy in Jupiter, Florida, at your earliest convenience. We can create an oral appliance to improve your nighttime breathing and help you stop snoring and improve your sleep.
Dr. Burman is a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine (D.ABDSM). He has extensive training in treating sleep-related breathing disorders and the fabrication of mandibular positioning devices.