How To Manage COPD Headaches

Health conditions can cause headaches or cerebral pains. These are called secondary or COPD headaches, and they can take a toll on your daily life. 

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a dynamic lung sickness that makes it harder for you to inhale and can cause secondary headaches. If you have COPD, finding the reason for your headaches and knowing how to manage headaches is essential because of the potential for life-threatening complications.

Secondary and COPD Headaches

COPD makes breathing difficult and, as a result, can cause secondary headaches. A secondary headache is a headache that forms from other underlying health conditions—such as a sinus infection or COPD. Treating the underlying symptom often helps with headaches.

It can be tricky to determine if COPD or another condition is causing your headache. Headaches are common, and many different factors can cause them. Headaches caused by COPD may include chest pain, sensitivity to light and sound, wheezing, shortness of breath, rapid breathing, and sometimes a choking feeling when waking up.

How COPD Causes Headaches

As oxygen travels through your lungs and into your bloodstream, it is transported to your muscles, internal organs, and the necessary parts of the body. Patients with COPD may experience some damage to their lungs, making it difficult for oxygen to work its way into the bloodstream. The consequences can be severe when the body does not get the oxygen it requires. COPD is linked to another condition—hypoxia. Hypoxia occurs when your blood doesn’t get enough oxygen and overworks your heart. COPD can also result in hypercapnia—when you retain too much carbon dioxide in your system.

These types of headaches may result from a lack of oxygen to the brain and too much carbon dioxide in your system. These secondary headaches are most common in the morning because you may have built-up carbon dioxide after sleeping.

Treating COPD Headaches

You can treat these headaches in a few ways. Since a lack of oxygen usually causes these headaches, the first step is to increase your oxygen intake with oxygen therapy. Oxygen therapy uses a machine to compress oxygen and deliver it to the user through a nasal tube or face mask. Using a stationary or portable oxygen machine can help you get the oxygen you need to treat your COPD and headaches. Increasing your lung function will decrease your secondary headaches. With an adequate amount of oxygen, your headaches will significantly reduce.

Even if you have the proper amount of oxygen, you may still have headaches. For example, if you have trouble sleeping at night or your breathing troubles interrupt your night’s rest, you will likely experience headaches. Headaches are widespread for anyone who is sleep-deprived.

You can also relieve the pain of your headaches with a few simple practices. Breathing exercises may help you get some extra oxygen in your system. Getting more sleep is always a good cure for any headache, but avoid oversleeping, which can escalate the problem. 

Exercising regularly will help your lungs get in better condition. Though COPD is not curable, it is treatable by improving the quality of your lungs. You should also avoid any COPD triggers, like smoke, dust, or other irritating things that may enter your lungs.

O2 Assist Oxygen Concentrators for COPD

If you’re experiencing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and, as a result, COPD headaches, an oxygen concentrator is a must-have for effective at-home and on-the-go oxygen therapy. At O2 Assist, we offer a wide range of concentrator options, but what makes us different is that we’re dedicated to your well-being every step of the way. You can count on us to deliver customer support that goes above and beyond every single time. 

We ship our products throughout the United States, so if you think you could benefit from an oxygen concentrator, speak with your doctor first, then shop our collections of portable and at-home concentrators online. And if you have any questions, please reach out to us!