The connection between sleep apnea (sleep apnoea) and migraine is a topic that we’ve covered here more than once. The September issue of HeadWay (the free headache and migraine ezine) also looked into this link in more depth.
I’ve heard from some of you regarding your experiences…
My 65 year old husband has had migraines since he was a child. He has never really snored much unless he had a cold. The symptom that caught the doctors attention 3 years ago was jerking muscles at night. Sometimes jerking muscles can indicate a lack of oxygen. An at home oximetry test showed his oxygen level was dropping to 65 at night. Following a sleep study, CPAP treatment, and oxygen at night his migraine are manageable with Botox and occasional meds now.
To learn more about the oximetry test (pulse oximetry), read What is pulse oximetry? from John Hopkins Medicine.
My 40 year old daughter was suffering from debilitating migraines when I subscribed [to HeadWay]. After 2 years and 12 doctors, she was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea and uses a CPap machine and has not had a migraine since then – 7 months. Thanks.
No, it’s not that simple for everyone. But once again – worth checking out!
I had my first migraine aura w/out pain when I was 30. Between 30 and 55 I may have had 5 or 6 more episodes. In my 50’s I gained a great deal of weight and also started having the aura’s 6 to 7 times a year. I went to a neurologist who did all the testing and again diagnosed migraine aura w/out headache. Finally I discovered I have sleep apnea. Since using the CPAP machine I have not had even one aura attack. My blood pressure has also dropped to 118/78. I think that I have had sleep apnea all my life (even before I gained the weight). My aura’s occurred less often before I gained the weight, but my apnea was probably not as severe. I just hope that everyone knows that sleep apnea can cause these aura’s and the neurologist nor the Optholmologist will necessarily know this. As a side note one time I even went blind in 1/2 of one eye. No one should have to be so terrified when the remedy was so simple.
Of course the remedy isn’t simple for everyone. However, the evidence does suggest that sleep issues are a major factor for many people when it comes to migraine symptoms.
I have had migraines since my teens. I am 39. I have had about 2-7 migraines a month since I can remember. I took every type of medications for them with no relief. I was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea last November. Since having my CPAP machine which I use every night I have had only 3 migraines in total this year. Those three I must say were due to stress and perhaps knocking off the head gear of the CPAP machine. I never thought I would get relieve from my migraines. Also I am not a zombie anymore…I actually have energy and can last a day without falling asleep in mid sentence!. It took some getting use to but if I would have known years ago….I would have saved so many wasted days throwing up and in the worst pain of my life with those migraines! I haven’t lost any weight using the CPAP nor has my blood pressure dropped….but no migraines….that’s worth millions in my book! (Stacy)
Thanks for all your comments! It’s great to hear some success stories. Let’s keep the conversation going! 🙂