It’s Allergies Or Environmental Irritants
It’s no secret that seasonal allergens like pollen or grass can make you stuffy in the morning. But if your bedroom is home to environmental irritants, you might also find yourself waking up congested, Dr. Jang says.
Dust mites, pet hair, cockroaches and mold are some of the most common culprits, but for some people, cigarette smoke, strong odors , cleaning products and air pollution or smog can also pose problems, per the American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology .
Fix it: If you know seasonal allergens are the problem, get serious with your allergy-management strategies.
If you suspect an environmental irritant like dust is to blame, improving your indoor air quality by getting rid of the culprit should solve your congestion problem. For instance, you can minimize your exposure to dust or pet dander by encasing your bedding in sealed covers, eliminating fabrics that tend to collect dust particles and keeping pets out of your bedroom, Dr. Jang says.
Causes Of Morning Headache
Here are a few reasons why you get headaches in the morning:
Why Do I Wake Up With A Headache Every Morning
When youre a migraine or headache sufferer, waking up with a headache can seem like a cruel twist of fate. While this is never a fun way to start your day, in most instances morning headaches arent indicative of a serious issue. Below are some of the most common reasons why you might experience a headache when you wake up every morning and tips on how to cope.
Experiencing migraine headache? Sinus headache? Do you need immediate help and relief? Find a location near you to get connected with our headache professionals immediately. Search National Headache Institutions
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Jaw Clenching Or Grinding
Grinding or clenching teeth can occur without the individual even realizing it. You may have a morning migraine or headache but not notice symptoms from the jaw.
Clenching throughout the night can lead to fatigue and exhaustion of jaw muscles.
Individuals may notice a stiff jaw, aches in the temples and even damaged teeth. Extreme forces can occur in individuals who grind or clench during sleep. This is often several times more forceful than teeth clenching whilst awake during the day.
How Do I Stop Morning Sinus Headaches
Are sinus headaches in the morning dragging down your day? Have you tried OTC painkillers, irrigation, decongestants, and everything else on our how to prevent sinus headaches list, all to no avail? If so, its definitely time to seek professional help.
At Kaplan Sinus Relief, our team of professionals is here to put your morning sinus headaches to bed. Permanently. We can treat an array of sinus conditions, but we specialize in the minimally invasive sinus procedure known as balloon sinuplasty now available with IV sedation.
Balloon sinuplasty restores your sinuses natural drainage pathways and can help you find relief from sinus headaches in the morning and other underlying issues .
For more information on this revolutionary treatment, call 713-766-1818 or request an appointment online today!
You’ve Got A Deviated Septum
Sometimes congestion can be the result of a structural issue in the nose that’s causing a physical blockage. “The most common anatomic issue is a deviated septum, which is when the cartilage that separates the two nostrils is pushed to one side or the other,” Dr. Anwar says.
Deviated septums are common, and they often go unnoticed, according to the Cleveland Clinic. But in addition to potentially causing congestion, in some cases, they can result in frequent headaches or facial pain, noisy breathing, nosebleeds or snoring, the Cleveland Clinic notes.
Fix it: If you think you have a deviated septum, bring it up with your doctor, who can refer you to an otolaryngologist. “They are uncommon causes of chronic nasal congestion, but should be ruled out when congestion is persistent or associated with other concerning symptoms,” Dr. Jang says.
Serious Morning Headache Symptoms
There are two concerning exceptions of morning headaches that dont fit neatly into the categories I mentioned above. While rare, they are still worth considering, as they may be overlooked:
- Infections: Any infection involving the lining of the brain causes extreme pain and usually a stiff neck. Because the lining of the brain is called the meninges, we call those infections meningitis.
- Carbon monoxide poisoning: Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that is lethal when inhaled in large quantities. Unvented, fuel-burning space heaters can release carbon monoxide and this might cause you to wake up feeling light-headed and nauseous. If you have these symptoms and you have a space heater at home, and if anyone else in the house has the same symptoms, step outside immediately and consider seeing a doctor.
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Make An Appointment With An Ear Nose And Throat Specialist
Our doctors will review your medical history and symptoms, conduct a physical exam, and:
- Order tests
- Rule out other conditions
- Refer you to a sleep specialist to test for sleep apnea if necessary
Talk to us about other symptoms besides your headaches, especially if you have any of the following signs that may indicate you have sleep apnea:
- Refraining from taking sedatives
When To Worry About Morning Headaches: Symptoms Causes & Treatments
Morning headaches are common, and most of the time, theres no reason for concern. However, if you find yourself frequently waking up with headaches, its important to pay attention to the type of pain you feel and if youre experiencing any accompanying neurological symptoms. With this knowledge, you can take the right steps to treat your pain.
I have a quick procedure I follow to assess headaches and determine whether they are a sign of something more serious. I categorize the headache, look for the cause, and then determine the right course of treatment.
In this article, Ill teach you how to categorize your morning headaches. Ill describe some specific symptoms to watch for, possible causes of morning headaches, and neurological symptoms to be aware of. Ill also provide some general guidelines for when to see your doctor, information about the treatments they might recommend, and some other key takeaways. If youre wondering why you wake up in the morning with a headache, this may help you narrow down the potential cause, actions you should take, and treatments to consider.
How Do You Get Rid Of A Recurring Sleep Apnea Headache
Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep condition when a person intermittently stops breathing during sleep. Symptoms of sleep apnea include snoring and morning headaches. At Advanced Ear, Nose & Throat Associates in Atlanta, GA, well help you get rid of your recurring sleep apnea headache along with the symptoms that come with it.
Why Am I Waking Up With A Migraine
Theres a close relationship between sleep and migraines. Disruptions in your natural sleep-wake cycle, or circadian rhythm, can trigger attacks, and, in turn, migraines can interrupt your sleep patterns. Its little wonder that those with sleep disorders are more likely to experience this condition.
Disruptions in sleep due to several disorders can be at the root of your morning migraine, including:
- Insomnia: This disorder is characterized by an inability to fall asleep or stay asleep. This is because both insomnia and migraine may be due to the activity of some of the same brain regions and neurotransmitters.
- Obstructive sleep apnea:Interrupted breathing while youre asleep characterizes this condition. It can cause snoring, cold sweats, sudden waking, and excessive nighttime urination.
- Teeth grinding:If you grind your teeth at night, a condition called bruxism, muscular pain around the temporomandibular jointthe hinge that connects your jaw to the skullcan cause headaches to flare up.
Though they can happen at any time of day, migraines most commonly arise in the morning hours, between 4 a.m. and 8 a.m. Whats behind your morning migraine attack? Several factors may be at play.
How Do You Diagnose Sinus Headaches Caused By Migraines
Sinus headaches are most likely due to migraines or tension headaches. Migraines are diagnosed by symptoms, including the frequency and severity of symptoms, family history, and by physical exam. Migraines can also include nausea and vomiting. These episodes may be triggered by hormonal changes, lack of sleep, certain foods or alcohol or caffeine, stress, or environmental changes like weather, altitude changes, or allergens. Many patients with migraines have family members who also experience migraine headaches.
If you have unusual or severe symptoms, additional tests such as an MRI of the brain may be ordered to rule out more serious conditions that can cause headache pain, such as tumors or bleeding around the brain. If you have repeated episodes of sinus pain and pressure, a nasal endoscopy or imaging such as an MRI or CT scan can determine if sinus pain or pressure is due to a sinus infection or other sinus pathology. A normal sinus CT scan while you have symptoms could help rule out sinusitis, and determine if migraines, headaches, or other causes of facial pain and pressure are causing the sinus symptoms.
Other causes of facial pain and pressure can include temporomandibular joint syndrome, clenching or grinding your teeth, trigeminal nerve pain, temporal arteritis , dental infection, or other neurologic causes of facial pain.
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When To Call 911
Get emergency help in the following cases:
- Your headache is more painful and extensive than any in the past.
- The onset of the headache is much more rapid than usual.
- Youre experiencing problems speaking and having sudden vision problems.
- You have numbness, weakness, or issues with movement and/or balance.
In addition, the following cases may not constitute an emergency but warrant a call to the doctor:
- The general pattern of your headaches has changed.
- Treatments and/or medications are no longer effective.
- Your medications are causing side effects.
- Youve started taking birth control.
- You need pain medications three or more days a week.
- Your head pain gets worse when you lie down.
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When To See A Doctor
The good news is that few diseases are capable of causing even severe headaches. The bad news is that they can sometimes be the result of serious underlying conditions like a tumor, a ruptured vessel, or trauma. Seek medical care as soon as possible if you notice any of the following:
- The headache is abrupt and intense, like a thunderclap
- The headache begins to get progressively worse or changes its pattern
- You have recently experienced a head injury, no matter how minor
- You experience numbness, mental confusion, fever, nausea or vomiting, or difficulty speaking
- You experience a sudden, severe headache out of proportion to others you have felt.
Snoring Or Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea causes you to stop breathing at times throughout the night. Generally, headaches associated with sleep apnea last for about 30 minutes.You can treat sleep apnea with special equipment, such as a continuous positive airway pressure machine.
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What To Expect At Your Office Visit
Your provider will take a medical history and will examine your head, eyes, ears, nose, throat, neck, and nervous system.
Your provider will ask many questions to learn about your headaches. Diagnosis is usually based on your history of symptoms.
Tests may include:
- Blood tests or a lumbar puncture if you may have an infection
- Head CT scan or MRI if you have any danger signs or you have been having headaches for a while
What Else Does Nasal Breathing Do
One of the most important ways that nasal breathing helps oxygen flow is via a gas called nitric oxide. The role of nitric oxide in the body and respiration was only recently identified.
Nitric oxide is produced in the nasal sinuses by specific enzymes. Its instrumental in delivering oxygen around the body efficiently because it regulates blood flow. When it mixes with air delivered to the lung, it increases arterial oxygen tension and reduces blood pressure.
Nitric oxide also has a vital role deep within your bodys cells and is produced elsewhere in the body but the biggest contributor is the minute amounts inhaled through the nose into the lungs.
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Morning Headache: Why Youre Waking Up With Headaches
We all go to bed at night with intentions of waking up feeling rested, refreshed, and ready for the day. But for many people, waking up with a headache interferes with that.
Headaches are not uncommon and neither is waking up with them. There are several causes for waking up with headaches, and discovering the cause is the first step to putting a stop to them.
Sleep Loss And Insomnia
Because sleep deprivation is a common cause of morning headaches, people with insomnia also have a high risk of experiencing morning headaches. People with this sleep disorder struggle to fall asleep or to stay asleep. As a result, they often do not get sufficient sleep and may feel unrested or sluggish during the day.
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What You Should Do If You Have Been Waking Up With A Headache:
- See your doctor for help if youre blood pressure is high, your blood sugar is low or high, or you snore and think you may have sleep apnea.
- Work on getting in a regular sleep routine. Try going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, getting at least 7 hours of sleep.
- Try sleeping in a different position. Also, there are pillows made specifically for stomach sleepers, side sleepers, etc., so make sure you have the correct one.
- Relax Stress is a common cause for waking up with tension headaches. Meditation, deep breathing exercises, and massage therapy can help to relieve stress.
- Cut down on caffeine. Just be aware that if you quit caffeine cold turkey, you may have temporary headaches from withdrawal.
- If youre a teeth grinder, try a night guard to help prevent clenching. If youre unsure whether you grind your teeth or not, it could be a possibility so talk with your doctor.
- Stay hydrated. Staying hydrated throughout the day can help. Dont drinking too much water before bedtime so you can sleep through the night without waking up for bathroom breaks.
- Avoid alcohol and smoking.
- Avoid chemicals or perfume that could possibly trigger your headaches.
- If you think it may be sinus or allergy related, try a Its a good idea to speak with your doctor before starting a new medication.
- Avoid certain foods. According to the National Headache Foundation, there are foods that may trigger headaches. These foods include:
Prevention And Treatment Of Sinus Headaches
The best way to prevent a sinus headache is to avoid a sinus infection. The CDC recommends washing your hands frequently, getting a flu shot, avoiding close contact with people who are sick, not smoking, and using a clean humidifier to moisten the air.
By humidifying the air, you can decrease sinus pressure, which should translate into decreased incidence of headaches, says Kiran Rajneesh, MBBS, a neurologist and pain medicine specialist at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus.
Dr. Rajneesh also suggests drinking a lot of water. Hydrating is important because it can help keep the mucus thin and loose, which can decrease infection and irritation, he says.
Over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help relieve a sinus headache. A nasal spray either a decongestant or a steroid spray may help as well, according to Michigan Medicine. Keep in mind that overuse of nasal sprays can further irritate the sinuses, leading to what is known as rebound congestion.
If you have a history of high blood pressure or heart problems, talk to your doctor before using oral decongestants .
A neti pot, which looks like a little teapot with a long spout, may be used to flush out nasal passages to improve congested sinuses, says Rajneesh.
There are times when you should seek medical help for possible sinus infection. According to the CDC, you should see a doctor if any of the following is true:
Additional reporting by Becky Upham.
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