I have a cavernous hemangioma in the cerebellum with evidence of previous bleeding. I have chronic headaches, slight dizziness, visual disturbances and some numbness along my left foot, hand and the side of my face. The doctors are unclear whether or not I have had a stroke. My symptoms appeared in my early 40s and I am now a 50 year old female. I have been diagnosed with fairly serious sleep apnea and have been using a CPAP machine (set to 15 as the pressure) for several weeks. While I have adapted to the machine, and sleep well with it, my headaches have been more intense lately. My understanding is that the CPAP machine will reduce pressure in my brain because my heart does not have to pump so much to circulate oxygen. My blood oxygen level dropped significantly at night (down to 60%) during my sleep study. The expectation is that my headaches will improve not get worse. Any idea if the CPAP machine is, in fact, causing my headaches to worsen? It is possible that I am just going through a rough patch. Thanks for you help. I will be seeing my family doctor shortly (as a regular appointment) and we may have to make a choice.
Well, it is unacceptable to have 60% oxygenation ever, so you absolutely need a CPAP machine. Discuss the headaches with your doctor. Try to figure out if it is from pressure from the mask or is the air too drying or what. I imagine a lot of pain meds are out of the question for you after a stroke. I wouldn't be surprised if the headaches weren't from the stroke and/or prolonged oxygen deprivation you have been experiencing. When my ex got his CPAP machine, his body aches decreased significantly. Therefore I would suspect you will get more comfortable in time, but it will help you to understand what the causes of the head pain are so you don't resent the CPAP machine which is keeping you from further damage.
Thanks for the repsonse. It has settled down this week so I suspect that I am adjusting. I was really frustrated last week with the increased pain level. I do have a doctor's appointment next week and will go over everything with her. I believe that the air pressure (it's set at 15) stimulated more blood flow in the brain which worsened my headaches. Since low oxygen stimulates blood flow too, it evens out I guess. Anyway, I have adjusted well to the CPAP machine and do feel my quality of sleep has improved. Thanks again! Take care!
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