Headache and OSAS

Headache and OSAS

Headache related to snoring and sleep apnea.

This time we bring you a comment provided by Dr. Pedro Mayoral on the appearance of headaches, his treatment with DAM OrthoApnea, and its link with SAHS and snoring.

A retrospective study showed that 24% of patients with sleep apnea had frequent morning headache, which was not different from the other groups. 30% of patients with chronic headache and other symptoms of sleep apnea have significant improvement in headache after treatment of sleep apnea.

Frequent headache is associated with a variety of sleep disorders. The authors compared the prevalence of snoring in a group of chronic daily headache (CDH) subjects (n = 206) with a control group of episodic headache subjects (n = 507). Habitual snoring was more common in the CDH subjects than in the control subjects (24 vs 14%; p < 0.05); the difference remained after adjusting for factors related to sleep-disordered breathing (OR = 2.9; p < 0.005). If this association proves causal, sleep-disordered breathing may provide a target for therapeutic interventions for chronic daily headache.

Treating snoring and apnea with MAD Orthoapnea , improves breathing and sleep quality, and can eliminate the headache so frequent in these patients.



Awakening headaches are associated with OSA. These headaches are of brief duration, and their occurrence and severity increase with increasing OSA severity. Treatment of OSA with continuous positive airway pressure or uvulopalatopharyngoplasty can reduce these headaches. This is a retrospective study of 80 consecutive patients with OSA who underwent sleep polysomnography from December 1996 to March 1997. Forty-eight (60%) patients had headaches in the year prior to study. Twenty-five of the 48 patients had headaches that did not fit any category. Of these 25 patients, 23 (48% of total group) reported awakening headaches.

To determine headache characteristics in the obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS). Headache was reported by 49% of OSAS patients. In OSAS patients headache had most frequently a tension-type pattern. Headache occurred on awakening in 74% of OSAS patients, more frequently than in insomnia patients (40%) (χ2P < 0.04). The occurrence of morning headache appears to be significantly correlated with nocturnal oxygen desaturation and OSAS severity.



Poceta, J. S., & Dalessio, D. J. (1995). Identification and treatment of sleep apnea in patients with chronic headache. Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain35(10), 586-589.

Scher, A. I., Lipton, R. B., & Stewart, W. F. (2003). Habitual snoring as a risk factor for chronic daily headache. Neurology60(8), 1366-1368.

Loh, N. K., Dinner, D. S., Foldvary, N., Skobieranda, F., & Yew, W. W. (1999). Do patients with obstructive sleep apnea wake up with headaches?. Archives of internal medicine159(15), 1765-1768.

Alberti, A., Mazzotta, G., Gallinella, E., & Sarchielli, P. (2005). Headache characteristics in obstructive sleep apnea syndrome and insomnia. Acta neurologica scandinavica111(5), 309-316.


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