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Is There Any Relation Between Cluster Headaches And Sleep Apnea?

Jan 15, 2008
Individuals diagnosed with cluster headache are at high risk of having undiagnosed sleep apnea, recent studies reveal. Researchers have concluded that there is a strong correlation between the occurrence of obstructive sleep apnea and cluster headaches, since the breathing complications are mostly prevalent among these individuals. At its very basic level, the scientific researches pointed out a possibility of treating cluster headache by treating the obstructive sleep apnea.

The Details Of The Study

Dr. Chervin and his associates and supported by the Sleep Disorder Center at the University of Michigan, conducted bet the study. It was an observational study in which 25 individuals with active or inactive cluster headaches participated. No diagnosis for apnea had been taken place prior to the study's start.

The studies findings revealed that over 80% of the participants experienced 5 episodes of apnea or hypopnea (under breathing) during each hour of sleep. 44% experienced 10 or more in that given period. Participants with cluster headaches and sleep apnea showed severe oxygen desaturation in the majority of the cases.

Decreased CO2 Reaction

Scientists spoke about the possibility that a reduced responsiveness to CO2 may develop cluster headaches and since sleep apnea results in minimum oxygen saturation. In other words, your body doesn't get enough air to get the job done. It explains the association with sleep-disordered breathing as linked up with cluster headaches. In reference to other studies that explained the occurrence of numerous rapid physiological changes as a direct consequence of sleep-disordered breathing, it can be surmised that there is a strong correlation between sleep apnea and cluster headaches.

The Speculation And Future Prospect

While speculative hypothesis in this particular aspect emphasizes that the recurring, outsized, adverse intrathoracic pressures occurring as a result of sleep apnea may directly influence intravascular content, leading to headaches. Sleep apnea and other sleep disordered breathing have the high possibility to influence the entire mechanism governing the sensation of aches, however, more research is needed. It's still not been proved whether the breathing pattern caused by sleep apnea actually causes headaches and whether there is any causal relationship between these two variables.

However, there is a strong correlation between these two variables for certain. Further studies are needed to confirm any direct relationship between cluster headaches and sleep apnea. Researchers do not underestimate the possibility of finding out any third variable responsible for both cluster headaches and apnea in addition to what has been already discovered.
About the Author
James writes articles on Family Health and how to find Cheap Health Insurance
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