CPAP Helps Migraine Sufferers

Here’s a study that confirms what I already practice—that treating obstructive sleep apnea can help with migraine headaches. In this German study, using CPAP for one year significantly lowered frequency, duration, and intensity of migraines. Medication use and lost work days were also significantly lower. 

Lack of oxygen and the increased stress response that results from repeated breathing pauses at night can cause your nervous system to become overly sensitive. Your muscles can tighten and go into spasm. You can become sensitive to lights, sounds, and become nauseous. If your inner ears are involved, you’ll become dizzy, light-headed, or may have ringing. So technically, you can have a migraine attack in any part of your body that has nerve endings. 

If you’re a sleep apnea sufferer, do you suffer from migraines?


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3 thoughts on “CPAP Helps Migraine Sufferers

  1. yes, but my migraines turned out to be intracranial hypertension. we know that apneas increase intracranial pressure. and I have noticed that most people with intracranial hypertension have all of the sensory problems you mention. nausea and tinnitus are common in intracranial hypertension. in the absence of papilledema, a person with “migraines” could be indistinguishable from someone with intracranial hypertension unless a spinal tap is done. I wonder if the researchers of this study ruled out IIH with spinal taps before they concluded that their study subjects just had migraine.

    there’s another study on colic and migraine:
    so what causes colic then?

  2. Since I started on CPAP (actually autopap)almost a year ago, I have barely had a migraine, and the ones I did have were not as bad. I used to wake up with headaches, not anymore. It’s amazing. I used to get them 1-3 times a month. I am so glad I finally got diagnosed and got treatment, I just wish I had done so years earlier. Maybe anyone with migraines should be tested for sleep breathing issues.