Sleep apnea may be associated with headache.


Patient selection: headache


Criteria for headaches associated with sleep apnea:

(1) The patient has evidence of sleep apnea.

(2) The headache has 2 or more of the following:

(2a) The headache shows a temporal relationship with episodes of sleep apnea.

(2b) (The headache gets worse if the sleep apnea becomes worse.) OR (The headaches improves or disappears if the sleep apnea improves.)

(2c) (The headaches recur on > 15 days per month.) OR (The headache resolves within 4 hours after awakening.) OR (The headache is bilateral, pressing, and not associated with nausea, photophobia or phonophobia.)

(3) There is no other cause that can explain the headache better.


Sleep apnea may also be associated with:

(1) migraine headaches

(2) cluster headaches


The headaches would be expected to get worse if the patient is noncompliant with therapy (CPAP, other).


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