Migraine and Sleep Apnea

If you’ve suffered from migraine and especially chronic migraine then you know sleep disorders are pretty common. I’ve read that people can be eight times more likely to have a sleep disorder if they also suffer from migraine. There are risk factors, like snoring, that can trigger morning headaches or in my case, morning migraine.

Finding relief, and then a one-two punch

I was diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea about eight years ago. I couldn’t even last during the sleep study due to my breathing stopping so many times. I completed the study while on a CPAP. I've been using a CPAP machine since completing the sleep study. I found using the CPAP machine helped me get a more restful sleep as well as cutting out the morning headaches and reducing morning migraine.

Since September 2012 I have experienced morning headaches and morning migraine. I was diagnosed with New Daily Persistent Headache and episodic migraine. New Daily Headache is a non-stop headache. It’s there from the time I wake up until I go to bed. That in and of itself was quite bothersome to me, but when it started to occur with migraine attacks things got to be more than I could handle at times.

The difficult search for effective treatment

I had to be very careful not to get stuck in a cycle of medication overuse. That was a challenge because at the time this started I had not yet started any medication therapy for either condition. My neurologist took the time to listen to my issues and helped me get on a medication regimen to try and prevent my migraine attacks.

I tried dozens of medication combinations hoping to find the one that would free me of these ailments. It was discouraging to hear that men were harder to treat for migraine than women from my neurologist. Treatment for me has always seemed to be an uphill battle that continues today. If I wasn’t battling with the side effects of the medications, I was trying to jump through hoops to get my insurance carrier to authorize treatments or therapies for migraine.

Managing chronic migraine and sleep disorders

Sleep apnea has only complicated my condition. I now also suffer from insomnia which is yet another trigger for my migraines. I progressed slowly from episodic to chronic migraine. My sleep apnea has remained stable, but I can say my sleep is no longer as restful as it once was. I will have to continue to manage my sleep apnea, New Daily Persistent Headache, and chronic migraine for the rest of my life.

Migraine makes my life difficult every day, but I’m hopeful that with new treatment options that will improve. I keep doing my homework before going to see my neurologist so that I get the most out of my visits. I’ve also been fortunate enough to try the new CGRP drug, Ajovy. All these things help me to manage my chronic migraine. Sleep apnea is still a challenge, but overall I am making it work for my benefit every day.

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