Wake up with headaches daily, sleep apnea?

Health Professional

Full Question:

Hi. I have been dealing with headaches on a daily basis for well over 2yrs now. I wake up with a headache, I even have them all throughout the day. I constantly take some type of pain medications everyday to soothe my pain. I have had head exams and they have all been negative. I had one doctor tell me I suffer from sleep apnea but when doing research on sleep apnea the only symptom I have is morning headaches and lack of concentration. Is this possible or could I be suffering from some other type of disease? Cedric.

Full Answer:

Dear Cedric;

What other symptoms of sleep apnea would you expect to notice? Some people with sleep apnea never notice any symptoms themselves. Waking with a headache is very often an indication that a sleep issue is the trigger. For more on this, see Migraines, Headaches, and Sleep.

Another issue to look at is your daily use of pain medication. Taking any kind of pain medication, over-the-counter or prescription, more than two or three days a week can make matters worse by causing medication overuse headache (MOH), aka rebound. See _Medication Overuse Headache - When the Remedy Backfires _ for more information on this.

It sounds like time to have a talk with your doctor about the sleep apnea and the daily use of pain medications to get a diagnosis for your headaches, confirm the sleep apnea diagnosis, and start treatment if it's confirmed.

Good luck,
John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert

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