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50 Years & Older Living With Migraine

Migraines and CPAP Machines

  • By Shanei

    My new doctor suspected that my chronic migraines were triggered by sleep apnea. I was sent to the sleep clinic and found to have sleep apnea and prescribed a CPAP machine. Weirdly (or maybe not?) the machine itself seems to be triggering migraines. At first it was the mask, which tightly wrapped around the top of my head. I have now switched masks, but it seems to be the forced air through my nose that is triggering the migraines. Has anyone else experienced this?

  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi Shanei,

    Thank you for sharing your experience with us. I’ve heard from others who have great success with their CPAP machine in helping reduce their migraine attacks. Having said that, some folks have had to adjust/switch their masks for it to make a difference. Maybe there is an adjustment period?

    I don’t use one, but hopefully others will be along shortly to share their story with you!

    Keep us posted!

    • By Bulldog

      “I’ve heard from others who have great success with their CPAP machine in helping reduce their migraine attacks.”

      Can you direct me to additional information about CPAP and migraine attacks?
      (Most of my migraines occur between 2am and 5 am.)

  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi Bulldog,

    Sleep issues, not only sleep apnea, can leave us waking with migraine pain. A CPAP machine is used to treat sleep apnea, which may trigger a migraine attack. I would encourage you to discuss having a sleep study with your doctor to see if in fact there is a sleep issue. The only way I’m aware of getting a CPAP machine is with a sleep study to determine whether or not you have sleep apnea.

    Keeping a regular sleep schedule is important for many of us with migraine disease. If we sleep too much or too little, it may trigger a nasty migraine attack, I know it does for me.

    The other thing I wanted to mention is there is a type of headache disorder called hypnic headache that occurs each night around the same time between 2 AM – 5 AM. You can read more about that here;

    I hope that
    Wishing you a low pain day,
    Nancy Harris Bonk, Patient Advocate/Moderator