Who has not suffered from headaches? Very few people can declare that they have never experienced this ailment. It is the most common type of painful illness encountered by doctors in clinical practice. Headaches do not spare anyone- young and old, male and female. Migraines are intense headaches of a very specific nature. It is set apart from other types of headaches by the onset, frequency and intensity of the pain felt as well as associated autonomic symptoms.
Headaches as concomitant feature in conditions such as sleep apnea
Headaches and migraines are often seen as concomitant findings in other medical conditions, one of which is sleep apnea. This is one malady where snoring and migraine are two of the primary signs of dysfunction. People who do not experience sound sleep every night due to the disturbances brought on by their condition often suffer from intense morning headaches. Some people describe the pain they feel as a tightly squeezing band around the head. This headache is attributed by sleep apnea experts to tension due to the emotional stress brought about by the social aspects of sleep apnea. These headaches may also be associated with psychogenic disturbances that are associated with the social aspects of the problem.
What research studies reveal
People suffering from migraines usually have problems sleeping. That is according to the Journal of Headache and Pain. Although some studies do not see a clear cause and effect relationship between migraine and snoring or sleep apnea, there are new findings that suggest there could be a strong association between the two. In one study, a therapeutic procedure indicated for sleep apnea which is known as CPAP or continuous positive airway pressure improved migraine symptoms as well. This is far from definitive, but it gives us the idea that the two may be related and that management of one can lead to relief of the other if a person presents with both problems.
What’s the real deal?
There are no definitive studies done yet which confirm that snoring cause headaches and vice versa.
Experts are sure of one thing and they stress the fact that snoring is a symptom of an underlying problem-at least that’s how the medical profession sees it. It could be sleep apnea which has a clear list of signs and symptoms. But snoring could be due to something else entirely. Not everyone who snores experience migraine symptoms, but it is not uncommon to find a person who complains of both snoring and migraine. For example, certain medications can cause both headaches and snoring when taken beyond the prescribed dosage.
Snoring as a predictor of headache
A different study conducted by the National Institute of Aging and published in the journal, “Neurology” revealed a few interesting findings when people who experience occasional headaches were compared to those who suffer chronic daily headaches. The results showed that those who have chronic headaches were twice more predisposed to snoring during sleep. The researchers explained that snoring is a predictor of headaches even if a person does not have sleep apnea. Researchers are now designed to examine whether treatment options to control snoring can also alleviate headaches.