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Can Sleep Apnea Cause Dizziness

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Dr Roach: Using A Cpap Machine Wont Trigger Vertigo

Dear Dr. Roach: I was recently prescribed a CPAP machine for mild-moderate obstructive sleep apnea. I have a history of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo and wondered if the pressure of the CPAP might cause the vertigo to kick in.


Dear L.B.: Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is believed to be caused by calcium crystals in the organ of balance, the semicircular canals, in the inner ear. The usual presenting symptom is vertigo, commonly described as the room spinning, often associated with nausea. People who have had this type of vertigo once are at risk for getting it again.

Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by relaxation of the soft tissues of the upper palate and the back of the throat, preventing proper breathing. While it is commonly associated with being overweight, OSA can happen in people of any weight. Continuous positive airway pressure, the CPAP machine, helps to keep the airway open and allow for unobstructed breathing.

Some people using CPAP note nasal congestion or swallowing air at night. These symptoms can generally be managed by a provider familiar with this treatment. However, triggering BPPV is not an issue with CPAP. In fact, by improving the oxygen supply to the balance centers of the brain, treatment of OSA has been shown to improve balance problems in some people.

Dont let fear of vertigo dissuade you from the best treatment for your sleep apnea.


Constant Exhaustion Or Feeling Of Fatigue

Those who have sleep apnea dismiss daytime sleepiness. However, this is one of the major red flagsespecially if you are getting an average recommended dose of eight hours. Whether youre conscious of it or not, sleep apnea causes fragmented sleep, meaning you arent getting the full benefits of deep, restorative rest every night. Naturally, you wake up tired, foggy and unfocused.

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.

Connection Between Sleep And Vertigo

Dizziness, spinning, and falling down are all symptoms of a condition called vertigo. If you suffer from these symptoms, you might be concerned that vertigo can hamper your sleep. To help you determine any relation between sleep and vertigo, check out this information about these seemingly distant disorders. It turns out vertigo and sleep have more in common than you realized.

Understanding Vertigo

Vertigo is more than just a famous movie made by Alfred Hitchcock. This condition causes you to feel extreme dizziness and a spinning sensation within your mind. You can even fall down as a result of serious vertigo, which can lead to dangerous accidents and additional injuries.

As for what causes vertigo, the Mayo Clinic states that benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is the most common cause. With BPPV, individuals have brief dizzy spells. The trigger for BPPV is a sudden movement of the head, such as when you sit down or turn your head. Treatment for BPPV is available at a doctors office, and can help you to avoid episodes of vertigo.

Falling Asleep With Vertigo

If you experience dizziness when you lie down to sleep, your vertigo could cause problems when going to sleep or getting up in the morning. To reduce the concern, take these precautions for sleeping with vertigo:

  • Set a bedtime routine that allows your mind and body to reach a restful state before your head hits the pillow.
  • Limit caffeine and alcohol for eight hours before bedtime.
Sleep Disorders and Vertigo

Make An Appointment With An Ear Nose And Throat Specialist

Can Sleep Apnea Cause Vertigo/Dizziness?

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:

  • Irritability
  • Refraining from taking sedatives

Skin Marks And Rashes

Skin marks, skin irritation, and rashes are probably the most common side effects of CPAP therapy. Almost every patient has faced this issue at one point during their treatment. Skin issues can vary in severity; if treated on time, or prevented, skin marks and rashes tend to go away quickly. However, in some cases, skin irritation, rashes, or redness seem to be persistent and translate into a different form of dermatitis and skin allergies.

The reason for this lies in the device itself. First of all, the CPAP machine can be a haven for bacteria, which can get onto the skin as the patient breathes through the mask. This shows how important it is to clean the CPAP mask and hose regularly. This can be done using CPAP machine cleaners, mask cleaners, or CPAP mask wipes.

On the other hand, skin irritation can be caused by silicon allergy or the allergy to the silicone in the masks. There can also be an issue with poor-fitting masks, which can cause red marks on the skin and skin breakage.

This can be solved by opting for a better-fitting mask, or opting for masks that are skin-friendly; these masks are made from fabric and are less likely to cause skin issues.

Dry Mouth And Drooling

Two contradictory findings may both suggest sleep apnea: dry mouth and drooling. Dry mouth often occurs when the nasal passage is blocked and mouth breathing occurs. This may be due to allergies, a deviated nasal septum, or even because of a cold. If you wake up with a dry mouth or sleep with a glass of water on your nightstand, this may suggest you are at risk for sleep apnea. Breathing through the mouth often leads to loud snoring and may contribute to the collapse of the airway in sleep. Somewhat unexpectedly, drooling may suggest the same situation. Drooling often occurs because the mouth is open during sleep, with saliva free to drip from the corners of the mouth onto a pillow. Therefore, both a dry mouth and drooling may indicate the presence of mouth breathing and risk for sleep apnea.

Waking Up Dizzy: 9 Causes Of Morning Dizziness Explained

Do you feel dizzy in the morning? There are a few reasons why you may feel dizzy when waking up or light-headed after sleeping. If youre wondering why you wake up dizzy, then keep reading for more information about the causes of dizziness in the morning and ways to manage the condition.

Top 6 Common Obstructive Sleep Apnea Symptoms


Do you often wake up feeling like you didnt sleep at all? Are you lightheaded, foggy or irritable during the day? Do you experience waves of depression or intense mood swings? You might be suffering from obstructive sleep apnea. Discover below 6 common obstructive sleep apnea symptoms and how you can treat them.

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine , obstructive sleep apnea, also known as OSA, is a serious sleep disorder affecting an estimated 22 million people nationwide. This condition causes a complete cessation of breath while sleeping for at least 10 seconds. In some severe cases, it causes a complete pause of oxygen to the brain and body system for a full minute or more. Its becoming more widely recognized as a life-debilitating disease linked to memory loss, heart disease, hypertension, stroke, high blood pressure, and obesity. Whats worst of all, is that OSA is commonly misdiagnosed by physicians, and therefore goes widely untreated.

Can Sleep Apnea Cause Dizziness And Lightheadedness

Unexplained dizziness is a bothersome symptom for many. It can make it challenging to work, complete household chores, and pursue many favorite hobbies. There are many causes for dizziness, so if it is an ongoing concern, it should be discussed with a doctor. However, one common root cause of dizziness is sleep apnea.

When you are dizzy, you feel lightheaded and disoriented. The lightheadedness is the part of it where it feels like you are going to faint. 

Most commonly, those who have sleep apnea and dizziness will feel it most severely first thing in the morning. You may be suffering from sleep apnea dizziness if you wake up disoriented and have to take a few extra moments to get your bearings before you feel steady on your feet and safe to walk. This is usually caused because the brain has been deprived of oxygen during the night and not functioning at 100 percent first thing in the morning, so trying to switch from the laying down position to an upright and moving position becomes troublesome.

At its most serious levels, this absence of oxygen is called hypoxemia, which can regress into hypoxia if left untreated long enough. When your body goes into hypoxia, vital organs begin shutting down due to a lack of oxygen. In aviation accidents involving cabin depressurization, for instance, hypoxia is frequently the cause of death. The absence of sufficient oxygen for breathing at high altitudes means vital organs quickly fail.

What Is The Cause Of Dizziness

Dizziness is not a disorder, but rather a symptom that can be caused by many things. For people who are experiencing dizziness when they wake up, dysfunction in the circulatory system or peripheral vestibular system may be the cause. Some medications can also cause morning dizziness, as can alcohol and recreational drugs. Even dehydration or low blood sugar can make you feel dizzy.

To understand dizziness that occurs when you wake up, it may be helpful to understand how our bodies keep us balanced under normal circumstances and where things can go wrong.

Dizziness Is One Of The Many Daytime Sleep Apnea Symptoms

Dizziness is just one of a range of daytime sleep apnea symptoms. According to the American Sleep Association, some other signs include: 

  • Headaches, especially in the morning 
  • Distraction, forgetfulness, and memory issues
  • Feeling very tired during the day, even when you think you slept well the night before 
  • Having a dry mouth or sore throat in the morning 
  • Depression 

Testing For And Treating Sleep Apnea

Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

An easy-to-use, comfortable test will be shipped directly to your front door. After wearing the device for one night of rest, send it back. A qualified sleep physician will analyze the results. If you test positive, you may be prescribed a CPAP.

A continuous positive airway pressure device is the most effective way to treat sleep apnea, because it supplies a constant flow of air to give your body the oxygen it needs. This machine prevent oxygen deprivation so you can rest properly and get rid of sleep apnea headaches.

Aside from waking with a headache other sleep apnea symptoms include:

  • Waking with a dry mouth
  • Excessive daytime fatigue

Clean The Cpap Regularly

Bacteria accumulation and contamination of the CPAP machine parts might be one of the leading causes of the therapy side effects. That is why it is essential to clean your CPAP machine and parts regularly.

The CPAP equipment should be cleaned after every use, which means that the majority of sleep apnea patients should be cleaning their CPAP devices every day.

You can clean your CPAP device using CPAP cleaners, or using products like cleaning brushes for the tubing, surface cleaners, and sprays, or cleaning wipes.

How To Avoid Cpap Side Effects

Although some side effects listed above may seem very unpleasant, they are all easily avoided with proper utilization of the CPAP equipment. Should you ever experience any of them, keep in mind these game-changing tips:

  • Ensure that the mask youre using is a good fit: it should be a comfortable size for your face. Choosing a mask of the appropriate size and shape will ensure that you dont experience any air leaks, so if the one youre using now is causing you problems change it! Cleaning your mask every day will ensure it doesnt slide around and stays firmly put. Furthermore, to make sure your tossing and turning throughout the night doesnt shift the mask, find yourself a body pillowTrusted Source11 Best Body Pillows Reviewed in Detail Time came for you to improve your restful experience in bed with the best body pillow that suits your needs and let our reviews help you choose that will keep you snugly in place and look for masks designed for active sleepers. Finally, avoid over tightening the mask this will allow you to avoid painful mask marks on your face.
  • An irritated, dry or runny nose is easily remedied by using the heated humidifier function that is available on the majority of new CPAP devices.
  • If you find that air leaks, dizziness, or tinnitus have become common occurrences and adjusting the straps of the mask doesnt help, speak to your doctor about reducing the air pressure on the machine.

Dry Mouth Cause #1: Medications Or Other Conditions

Before you blame your CPAP mask for your dry mouth, its important to rule out other culprits. The Mayo Clinic lists six potential non-CPAP causes that you should discuss with your doctor first:

  • Oral medications that list dry mouth as a side effect
  • Aging
  • Other health conditions:
  • Sjogrens syndrome and HIV/AIDS can cause dry mouth
  • Stroke and Alzheimers disease can cause a perception of dry mouth, even though the salivary glands are functioning normally. 2

How To Sleep With Vertigo: The Root Cause And 7 Helpful Tips

Vertigo is a very unsettling sensation; everything around you is spinning, but youre not moving. Unlike the popular belief vertigo is not a fear of heights. Vertigo is more like being on a rollercoaster while being on the ground. That sensation can last for minutes, but in some cases, it can last for days. For that reason, sleep deprivation is a close associate of vertigo.

People who experience this sensation for more than a day are generally sleep deprived and develop serious sleeping issues. When the world is spinning around, it can be hard to fall asleep. Therefore, in the following paragraphs, well try to share some tips on how you can try to get enough sleep while experiencing vertigo. So, lets dive in!

Fun fact; this illusion image showcases the effects of vertigo. Try not to look at the image directly, but rather look at something next to it. The image will rotate and resemble similar motion issues people with vertigo experience.

You May Need A New Pressure

If youve gone through recent lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking or drinking, weight gain or loss, or changes to your underlying medical condition , some of the original symptoms of OSA may reappear, due to residual sleep disorderd breathing.  These changes to your lifestyle or medical condition may require a new pressure setting for your CPAP or BiPAP.  With advances in technology, an FDA cleared OSA test that can be done in your home, with the results interpreted by a certified physician, remotely.  If you think you may be suffering from residual sleep disordered breathing, to find a home sleep apnea test provider.  

Rashes Sores And Red Marks

If the mask has been put on too tight, you may wake up with a sore face and, over time, facial tissue damage because of the constant aggravation of this sensitive area. This can be down to a high pressure or air leakage, which causes a buildup of moisture between the seal of the mask and your skin, resulting in an unpleasant rash.

Sleep Apnea And Other Obstructive Breathing Conditions

Anything that interferes with your breathing will reduce the amount of oxygen that gets to your brain, leaving you feeling dizzy or woozy. A common complaint among people with obstructive breathing conditions is, I woke up in the middle of the night feeling dizzy. While sleep apnea is the most common type of obstructive breathing condition, others include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease , emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and asthma. Even having a common cold could interfere with normal breathing while you sleep.

Is There A Link Between Sleep Apnea And Dizziness

Foods to help relieve vertigo.What can i do for mild ...

Sleep apnea involves interruptions in airflow to the body during sleep.  For most, its due to collapse of the airway while for some the brain doesnt correctly signal the muscles that control breathing .

Regardless, it possible the airflow interruptions could be messing with the air pressure in the ear.

Its not unheard of for sleep apnea patients to experience severe dizziness in the morning.

Sleep apnea has been linked to dizziness in clinical studies.

In one study, patients with moderate-to-severe obstructive sleep apnea were found to have more dizziness symptoms.

More recently, Taiwanese researchers reported the results of a study involving over 25,000 people.  They found that sleep apnea patients experience significantly more vertigo.

Do we know for sure this is being caused by air pressure changes?

Its hare to say since more research needs to be done to tease out exactly whats going on.  You may simply be dizzy because your brain has been starved of oxygen during the night.

One thing we do know now is that theres definitely a link between sleep apnea and dizziness.

The other thing you should keep in mind that are the many different causes for dizziness, but its still possible that sleep apnea could be causing or worsening your symptoms.

Try Using The Ramp On Your Machine

When you use the ramp on your sleep apnea equipment, your CPAP machine starts out at a lower pressure and gradually increases until it reaches your set pressure. Using this gradual technique can increase your comfort level, as well as help you get used to wearing your mask each time you put it on.

Always make sure to talk to your doctor before making any changes to your CPAP routine. Since the side effects of sleep apnea outweigh the CPAP side effects of using a CPAP mask and machine, its important to find a solution so you can wear your CPAP comfortably and consistently.

Assessment Of Vestibular Symptoms And Sleep Disturbance

Evaluation of sleep disturbance was conducted using the Korean version of the PSQI and Insomnia Severity Index . These scales were completed at the first visit. The Korean versions of these scales were translations of the original English text into Korean. The degrees of severity of dizziness were evaluated using the Korean version of the Dizziness Handicap Inventory .

PSQI is a self-rated questionnaire about sleep quality during the last 1 month that consists of 18 items with a 4-point Likert-type response format . PSQI contains a 03 interval scale with seven components . Buysse et al. reported that the English version of the PSQI is highly reliable . The sensitivity and specificity were 89.6%, 86.5% for patients with sleep disorder, using a cut-off score of 5. The Korean version of PSQI also showed high reliability , but the best cut-off point was 8.5 .

ISI measures sleep maintenance difficulties, satisfaction with current sleep patterns, interference with daily functioning, noticeable impairment attributed to the sleep problem, and the degree of concern caused by the sleep problem with seven questions . The total score ranges from 0 to 28 and is rated from 0 to 4 for each item. A cutoff score of 15 has been used as the threshold for clinically significant insomnia and a score between 8 and 14 has been considered sub-threshold insomnia .

Natural Remedies To Help With Sleep Apnea And Dizziness

Weve talked a lot about the things you can do with the help of a doctor and specialists.  There are also other remedies that may help with your sleep apnea and dizziness.


Dehydration can cause dizziness, so try drinking more water and staying hydrated.  Learn more

Ginger tea:

Ginger may help relieve dizziness symptoms.   Learn more


Deficiencies in some vitamins may lead to dizziness.  In some cases, eating more foods rich in vitamin C, E, and D may help.  Learn more

Essential oils:

Some people have found that essential oils may help. You can try ginger, peppermint, lavender, and lemon oil.  Learn more


Yoga can help patients suffering from vestibular disorders reduce dizziness and regain balance.  Learn more

Tai chi:

Tai chi is an ancient Chinese martial art with many health benefits.  It may help patients who suffer from dizziness and balance disorders.  Learn more


Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese healing art that involves inserting thin needles into the body at specific points.  Its been found to be effective treatment for dizziness and vertigo.  Learn more

Description Of Machine Use

Following your stay in a sleep lab, you will be prescribed a CPAP machine.

The CPAP machine includes a pump and a face mask. The pump sits off the bed and has a tube that goes to the face mask. The face mask will be tightly secured to your head so that air will not leak out. The pump will force air through your airway to help keep it open. You will need to wear the face mask to bed every night.

Critical Balance Issues:tmj Vertigo Sleep Apnea

Patients in pain can rejoice. In his new practice , Raleigh Dentist Dr. James R. Harold continues to bring years of training and treatment of TMJD, vertigo, and sleep apnea to scores of patients who need specialized care.

Balancing muscles in the jaw is a key part of effectively treating TMJD.

Its only in recent years that we have been able to effectively make the connection with the often debilitating pain that exists in these different related conditions, the doctor notes.

In his consultation room, he clicks and enlarges an image on his computer monitor of a blonde, attractive woman, blue eyes, probably in her early thirties. Theres the hint of a smile, with her mouth slightly open.

Dr. Harold Establishes New Practice

Reflecting the increasing demand for his specialized services, Dr. Harold has established a new practiceTMJ and Facial Pain in the Carolinasin a new location . Dr. Mike DesRosiers, a respected and well-established dentist in the area for many years, is now providing state-of-the-art dental care to patients of North Carolina Center for Aesthetic Dentistrymy former practiceDr. Harold notes, and we are sharing office space at 700 Exposition Place.

For more than a decade, my interest and expertise in neuromuscular dentistry, treating such conditions as TMJD, vertigo, and sleep apnea, has occupied more of my time and commitment. Im grateful to now have the opportunity to focus entirely on helping patients who suffer with these difficult issues.

Sleep Apnea And Dizziness: Whats The Link

While sleep apnea is most commonly associated with things like sleepiness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, forgetfulness, and irritability, it can also result in dizzy spells.

âDizziness can be caused by a number of different issues, but certainly sleep apnea can be a cause as well,â Vivek Cherian, MD, Internal Medicine physician with the University of Maryland Medical System, tells WebMD Connect to Care. âThe dizziness tends to be in the morning after the individual wakes up, as opposed to random times during the day.â

According to Cherian, the reasons for the connection between sleep apnea and dizziness and/or vertigo are still being researched. One factor that could explain the link is lowered oxygen levels in the brain during sleep.

âObstructive sleep apnea typically leads to recurrent episodes of breathing cessation or shallow breathing, which leads to intermittent episodes of hypoxemia,â Cherian explains. âThe idea is that decreasing the level of oxygen in your blood can lead to dizziness and vertigo symptoms. When you wake up and start breathing normally, oxygen levels are restored to normal and your symptoms tend to resolve.â

An alternative explanation for the link between sleep apnea and dizziness focuses on the inner ear. 

If sleep apnea is making you dizzy, itâs important to take steps to increase the flow of oxygen to your brain during sleep. For many patients, this means using a continuous positive airway pressure machine.

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