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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Exp 50 years

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On CPAP machine for sleep apnea. Started feeling unbalanced with pressure in head. Remedy?

Answered by
Dr. Payman Hajiazim


Practicing since :2000

Answered : 634 Questions

Posted on Tue, 19 Mar 2013 in Sleep Disorders
Question: As I mentioned earlier I'm on CPAP machine because i was diagnosed with sleep apnea.I've been using the machine for over 3 months now.I had heavy head for few days and i took advil so my head got fine for few days.I'm noticing that in the last so many weeks I've not sneezed at all and that is very unusual because i used to sneeze at least twice a day.Second change I noticed that i didnt catch cold in the last few months and that is also very unusual because i used to catch cold at least once in 3 months.I'm getting worried because today I felt twice that my ear is hurting little bit and I feel unbalanced for few seconds.When ever i try to speak I feel pressure in my head.
Answered by Dr. Payman Hajiazim 3 hours later
Hi there, thanks for asking. Not having any sneezing is not a problem. Meanwhile, it is a positive point that you have not had any cold during the last three months. Generally it has proven that CPAP and finally oxygenation to the tissues help have a better health including fine immune system function. Feeling unbalanced can be the result of change in the middle ear pressure. CPAP provides a continual positive pressure in the airways which can change the pressure in the middle ear as well. Having a transient headache can be a normal thing or if it accompanied with dry mouth in the morning or drooling on the pillow could be a sign that the pressure of your CPAP machine is not well tuned. I suggest you mention the issue to your doctor at the follow up session in order to tune the pressure if it is necessary. It happens frequently that the pressure needed to be readjusted after several months. I wish you the best health.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Payman Hajiazim 1 hour later
Thanks for the reply.. I visited my doctor at sleep apnea center and they changed my mask and adjusted little bit pressure too. The doctor said if it doesn't help then I might have to switch to dental appliance. Do you think doctor it's a better solution?
Answered by Dr. Payman Hajiazim 1 hour later
Hi ,

Thanks for writing back.

It is another option, Dental appliance usually is used for the treatment of mild to moderate (mostly mild) apnea.

In most of the cases, the headache and other issues which you mentioned do subside over time or are treatable. If you lose at least 10-15 pounds, that will be very helpful and your CPAP could be adjusted with lower pressure and the side effects will decrease substantially. I wish you feel more responsible about your health and play more active role than you have now.

Hope I answered your query.

I wish you a good health.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
Follow up: Dr. Payman Hajiazim 23 hours later
Thanks Doctor..
Another problem I have is I got diagnosed with LPR last month too and the ENT doctor prescribed me Prilosec 40 mg twice a day for two months but im not taking it consistently.Do you think my sleep apnea is related to LPR because the symptoms started few months ago.I used to get up in the middle of the night with rapid heart rate and high blood pressure.I went to my general physician and he referred me to sleep center and of course they diagnosed me with sleep apnea.But this didnt help me completely so I visited ENT doctor who diagnosed me with LPR.I'm really confused and thats freaking me out.What do you think doctor about this situation.I;ve been very active in my daily walk of 3 to 4 miles and I'm eating a healthy diet everyday.I also drink hard liquor 3 to 4 times a week too.
Answered by Dr. Payman Hajiazim 15 minutes later
Hi again,

Thanks for writing me back.

As you mentioned LPR and Apnea are interrelated. Apnea causes more pressure in the chest during the night because upper airways collapse partially which this pressure causes eventually reflux of acid to the esophagus.

Therefore, you may have reflux at night if you have apnea while you do not have any gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD). I recommend not worrying about it since it probably will get better with apnea management.

Feel free to ask me any other question. I wish you a good sleep.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Shanthi.E

The User accepted the expert's answer

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