Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a sleep condition that occurs when the airway is intermittently narrowed or blocked throughout the night, resulting in decreased oxygen saturation levels. Snoring is a key symptom of OSA along with headache and daytime fatigue. Clinical trials did not find migraine and OSA to be comorbid. Although, a clinical trial did note for those who have both conditions, treatment with continuous positive airway pressure or CPAP improved migraine burden.1 Studies found up to 80% of people with cluster headache also live with OSA.2 In addition, headache prevalence among those with OSA ranges from 32.9-58.5%3, most commonly presenting with tension headache. Another type of chronic headache, known as a “sleep apnea headache” occurs greater than 15 days a month, usually in the morning without hypersensitivities to light, sound, or other migraine-type symptoms. 

Approved Migraine Research for 2022

Dr. Eric Gruenthal is a sleep medicine fellow at the Cleveland Clinic. His research was recently approved by AMD’s Research Advisory Committee and is awaiting funding from AMD.

In an interview with AMD, Dr. Gruenthal was asked how his research will lead to a better understanding of migraine conditions.

He responded by saying:

“The project will foster a more detailed understanding of the causal nature between sleep disorders (especially sleep-disordered breathing, such as obstructive sleep apnea) and migraine, and address the question of whether proven therapies for sleep-disordered breathing (specifically positive airway pressure) also improve migraine outcomes, such as migraine frequency and intensity.”