Migraine headaches with CPAP

Will cpap treatment bring on a migraine headache? It seems my migraines come more often when using cpap.


It shouldn't exist migraine headaches with CPAP. Most patients with sleep apnea have fewer migraines when they start using CPAP treatment.
However, if you have now a different pressure settings on your CPAP machine, then it must be a reason for your headaches.

Regarding sleep apnea, the main reason for migraines is the oxygen deprivation of your brain (hypoxemia). The CPAP machine should deliver enough oxygen to make you feel better. Other causes may be:

  • hypercapnia

  • increased intracranial pressure

  • sleep disturbance caused by depression

  • change in cerebral blood flow

You can learn more about sleep apnea headaches here.

Regarding your CPAP treamtent, maybe you have a leak or a differet pressure setting.

Have you thought to see again a sleep technician? He can detect the differences.

Here's some of my more popular pages:

I hope it helps. Don't be afraid to comment back.

Remy Thierry
Founder of Sleep Apnea Guide

Comments for Migraine headaches with CPAP

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Aug 13, 2010
by: Anonymous

I get migranes now and than, but when I started using my Cpap I had one for 5 days-this has never happened before. I stopped taking pills after the 5th pill gave no results. I stopped the cpap and am fine. Afriend suggested that the pressure setting was to high causing to much pressure on the sinus cavity (which is another reason for some migranes) I cant figure out how to change the pressure and a trip to the clinic is way to far down the road!!

Jan 24, 2017
limited scope of knowledge
by: Anonymous

I've suffered migraines for years... like 30+ years. I've had problematic periods with my migraines that were more frequent than usual, and periods when they were less problematic. Since using the CPAP, my migraines have become worse... as in I wake with a headache that is worse than usual (I'm a chronic migraine patient living with headaches every day). And the headache doesn't go away or lessen as the day progresses.

I'm on a very low level of pressure for my settings and I use a warm humidifier to alleviate the sinus cavity concerns. It's done nothing to improve my migraine problems which have now become aggravated by the CPAP. To just assume that the pressure is too high and the likes is very naive and a very narrow scope of understanding. A migraine is a very complicated disease that encompasses more than just headaches. Headaches are merely one symptom of the disease - and just happen to be the one symptom that EVERYONE associates with the term "migraine"

Jan 24, 2018
Migraine and CPAP
by: Anonymous

I’m suddenly getting weekly migraines with auras after maybe getting three max a month - and none for six months. The increase coincided exactly with me starting CPAP.

Pressure was too high, for that reset and i’m Sleeping through the night BUT: migraines. I’m pretty sure it’s because of either the pressure of the mask strap, the tubing where it rests on my head, and/or the fact I now sleep only on my back and that creates pressure on my scalp that triggers it. This SUCKS because I can’t go on like this.

Apr 18, 2018
Weekly migraine now with CPAP
by: Debbie

My CPAP technician suggested I am rebreathing CO2 which will bring on morning severe headache/nausea/muscle issues. When I wake up, it takes 1/2 a day to recover and I feel very ill.

Usually progresses to a full-blown migraine with aura. Then I am off my CPAP for the next 3 days due to my head hurting too much to put the appliance on.

I notice that while I am off CPAP, I no longer experience morning severe headache/nausea and muscle issues, in fact, I feel very well. Once back on the CPAP, I begin the cycle of 3-4 days of severe morning headaches followed by a migraine with aura.

I am waiting to hear from my sleep doctor as my CPAP technician cannot change the pressure nor make recommendations.

My whole life now revolves around one headache and migraine after another until I stopped using the CPAP.

Thank you for reading.

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