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Your Headaches could be caused by Sleep Apnea

headaches caused from sleep apneaPoway and Rancho Bernardo, CA

Nothing can spoil your day quite like a headache. Millions of Americans live with chronic headaches. Are you one of them? If so, you probably have tried all kinds of ways to find relief: drinking plenty of water, avoiding caffeine, taking vitamins, exercise, meditation, the list goes on. Unfortunately, some people try all types of remedies for their headaches but never find relief. If this sounds like you or someone you love, then you should see a neuromuscular dentist in Poway like Dr. Nicol Cook to see if your chronic headaches might be caused by obstructive sleep apnea.

Let’s take a look at how sleep apnea and headaches are related, but first, here are other symptoms associated with this sleep-breathing disorder.

Do you experience these symptoms?

  • Do you always feel tired, even after a full night’s rest, or even when you’ve gone to bed early?
  • Does it seem like you’re always out of energy?
  • Do you have difficulty concentrating?
  • Does your significant other or family members complain about your snoring, or tossing and turning in your sleep?

If you can answer yes to any of these questions, then your headaches actually could be caused by a serious sleep breathing disorder known as obstructive sleep apnea.

Snoring is no big deal… right?

Wrong. When you snore, the sound you hear comes from the vibration of soft tissue in your throat that obstructs your breathing while you are asleep. Someone who snores is more likely to mouth breathe, which is an inefficient way of breathing that can lower oxygen levels in your blood, and put a strain on your heart. Lower oxygen levels could be contributing, in part, to your headaches. Snoring also is the major warning sign of sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is serious 

A patient with sleep apnea experiences blockages in their airway that either make breathing more difficult or cause complete pauses in breathing. Oxygen levels drop, and your brain signals your body to wake up and resume breathing. Each time this happens, your sleep cycle is disrupted, depriving you of the restoration and regeneration that occur during the deepest stages of sleep. Someone with an advanced, untreated case of sleep apnea experiences these attacks hundreds of times per hour each night. Living with untreated sleep apnea also affects your cognitive ability and increases your risk of several chronic, potentially deadly health conditions, including cardiac disease, diabetes, and stroke, as well as certain forms of cancer. Patients with sleep apnea also report living with various kinds of physical aches and pains—headaches included.

Here’s how your dentist can help

If you’re experiencing any combination of the conditions listed above, you should get a sleep apnea screening in Poway at Smiles by Dr. Cook. We can perform a home sleep study, which consists of sending you home with a portable monitor that tracks your vital signs while you sleep in the comfort of your own bed. From there, if a sleep breathing disorder is detected, we can provide relief through oral appliance therapy. This entails providing you with a specially designed oral appliance that is customized to fit your mouth and will reposition your jaw, helping you maintain the proper airflow throughout the night and prevent the airway obstructions that cause sleep apnea episodes. You should experience headache relief as you begin sleeping and breathing better.

Headache relief in Poway

You don’t have to live with chronic headaches or mask your pain with medication. Dr. Cook can provide you with a sleep apnea screening, and help manage your condition. To schedule an appointment or to learn more, please call (858) 673-0141 or contact Smiles by Dr. Cook today. We welcome patients of Poway and Rancho Bernardo, California.

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