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Can Sleep Apnea Cause Confusion

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How Common Is Sleep Apnea

Can Sleep Apnea Lead to Dementia in Elderly?

Obstructive sleep apnea is estimated to affect between 2-9% of adults in the United States, but many cases are believed to go undiagnosed, which fits with studies that have found considerably higher rates of OSA. Precise prevalence is hard to determine because studies have used different criteria for diagnosing the condition. A consistent finding, though, is that OSA affects men more than women. It can occur in people of any age but is more common in older adults.

Central sleep apnea has been found to affect around .9% of adults over the age of 40. It is found much more frequently in men than in women.

As this data demonstrates, OSA is much more common than CSA. For this reason, when people talk about sleep apnea, they are generally referring to OSA.

Sleep Apnea And Dizziness Together Means More Misery

So, youre wondering about sleep apnea and dizziness?

Or maybe, its bouts of vertigo

Weve all felt dizzy at one time or another, that feeling of light-headedness or disorientation. Vertigo is more severe form of dizziness in which you feel like the room is spinning.

Symptoms typically last from a few minutes to hours.

And whether its dizziness or vertigo, its one of the most common symptoms reported to doctors. It affects over 90 million Americans and for 4 in 10 its severe enough to send them to a doctor.

Dizziness and vertigo are often associated with other common health issues such as migraine headaches, motion sickness, faints, and anxiety. They have also been linked to poor sleep.

And thats a problem for millions insomnia sufferers and sleep apnea patients.

Sleep apnea by itself is bad enough. Throw in a douse of dizziness or vertigo into the mix and the misery index goes way up.

Are you noticing that youre having bouts of dizziness along with your sleep apnea? Have you started CPAP treatment and for the first time wake up feeling lightheaded?

Lets talk about what we know and what you can do for sleep apnea and dizziness.

If I Have Sleep Apnea Are There Other Benefits Of Cpap Treatment

The benefits of CPAP treatment go far beyond reversing memory loss. According to Dr. Timothy Morgenthaler², President of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine , Obstructive sleep apnea is a destructive disease that can ruin your health and increase your risk of death, creating health hazards that include high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Through treatment with CPAP, all of these hazards can be reduced. Now, thats information worth remembering!

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What Are The Effects Of Sleep Apnea

If left untreated, sleep apnea can result in a number of health problems including hypertension, stroke, arrhythmias, cardiomyopathy , heart failure, diabetes, obesity and heart attacks.

Its likely that sleep apnea can cause arrhythmias and heart failure because if you have sleep apnea, you tend to have higher blood pressure. In fact, sleep apnea occurs in about 50% of people with heart failure or atrial fibrillation.

This is because sleep apnea can cause:

  • Repeated episodes of oxygen lowering .
  • Changes in carbon dioxide levels.
  • Direct effects on the heart due to pressure changes within the chest.
  • Increased levels of markers of inflammation.

With the high prevalence of sleep apnea in cardiac arrhythmias and heart failure , experts recommend that you dont delay in seeking the advice of your physician.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/03/2020.


Surprising Causes Of Memory Loss

Sleep apnea

If you have difficulty remembering things, your mind may make the leap to Alzheimers disease but thats not the only cause of memory loss.

You can’t find your keys or you forget an appointment. For many people in middle age or older, simple acts of forgetfulness like these are scary because they raise the specter of Alzheimer’s disease.

But Alzheimers is not the only health issue that can lead to forgetfulness, which is often treatable if you know the cause, according to the National Institute on Aging. Memory loss can happen at any age and for a number of reasons.

Patients might experience memory loss and describe their symptoms similarly, but a doctor can tease apart what parts of the brain are affected, says Seth Gale, MD, a neurologist at Brigham and Womens Hospital in Boston.

He points out things like polypharmacy , significant depression, and poor sleep that can lead to memory complaints. When you drill down and find out what is actually happening with brain function, you can reassure someone. They have the capacity to learn and store information but because of their overloaded mental resources, they are having trouble, says Dr. Gale.

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Sleep Apnea Secondary Conditions: How To Service Connect Your Va Sleep Apnea Claim

Veterans, in this post I list more than 40+ possible sleep apnea secondary conditions so veterans can win, service-connect, and rate your sleep apnea VA claim in less time.

Many veterans attempt to service-connect sleep apnea as a primary disability condition and cant seem to figure our why the VA keeps denying your sleep apnea claim.

The main problem is that you didnt get amedical diagnosis of sleep apnea while on active duty and you never did a sleepstudy.

I can literally read the VAs denial letter now:There is no evidence in the veterans service treatment records of any sleepapnea condition or subjective complaints of sleep apnea.

Of course there isnt VA!


Because you didnt go to the doctor enough whileyou were on active duty, and furthermore, you probably didnt even know whatsleep apnea was during you service.

Youre not alone here veterans!

When I was on active duty, I had a ton of sleep issues, but I never realized those symptoms might have been due to an underlying sleep apnea condition.

I chalked it up to long work hours, stress from the job, a deployment, and various mental health issues.

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Sleep Apnea Changes How The Brain Works

A February 2016 study published in the Journal of Sleep Research by the UCLA School of Nursing investigated the injury caused to the insular cortex of the brain by sleep apnea. They studied levels of two important brain chemicals, called neurotransmistters: glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid, known as GABA. Unlike previous studies, we actually found substantial differences in these two chemicals that influence how the brain is working, said Paul Macey, the lead researcher on the study and an associate professor at the UCLA School of Nursing.

It is rare to have this size of difference in biological measures, Macey said. We expected an increase in the glutamate, because it is a chemical that causes damage in high doses and we have already seen brain damage from sleep apnea. What we were surprised to see was the drop in GABA. That made us realize that there must be a reorganization of how the brain is working.

Macey says the studys results are, in a way, encouraging. In contrast with damage, if something is working differently, we can potentially fix it.

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Stick To A Regular Sleep Schedule

Going to bed and waking up at roughly the same times every day helps you to get the right kind of sleep. You need to experience the full cycle of deep- and lighter-stage sleep to feel well rested. A regular sleeping schedule also prevents you from getting overtired, which can make sleep apnea symptoms worse.

Interrupted Sleep Can Lead To An Underactive Thyroid

Study shows link between sleep apnea and Alzheimers

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder, where breathing stops during sleep for a period of 10 seconds or longer for a few times a night. Some symptoms of sleep apnea are similar to Hashimotos symptoms.

Breathing is automatically regulated during sleep, maintaining the healthy balance between oxygen and CO2. If the breathing is interrupted, oxygen levels drop??causing a lot of problems with brain capacity, hormonal balances, and healthy blood pressure .

Sleep apnea can be mild, moderate, or severe, depending on how many episodes of interrupted sleep a person experiences .

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What Are The Treatments For Sleep Apnea

If you have symptoms of sleep apnea, you should make sure to talk with a doctor. Without understanding the root causes of your sleep apnea, it is difficult to treat. When necessary, the doctor can recommend an overnight sleep study to analyze your sleep, including your breathing.

If a person is diagnosed with OSA or CSA, treatment is often effective at improving sleep and reducing the risks of long-term health complications. A doctor familiar with a patients situation is in the best position to address potential benefits and risks of treatments and make specific recommendations.

Lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, reducing use of sedatives, and sleeping on your side, can resolve some cases of OSA. Another common treatment is nightly use of a continuous positive airway pressure or bi-level positive airway pressure machine. These devices push air through a mask and into the airway to keep it open during sleep.

Some types of mouthpieces that hold the jaw or tongue in a specific position are an option for people with certain anatomical features that trigger mild OSA. In addition, though usually not the first treatment option, surgery to remove tissue and expand the airway can be considered. Medications may be prescribed to help with daytime sleepiness in people with this symptom.

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Does Sleep Apnea Cause Memory Loss

Sleep plays a significant role in your memory, and not getting enough can damage it. Your body needs to repair itself on a daily basis, which happens during sleep. When you have sleep apnea you temporarily stop breathing at night, and when your body senses this, it sends a WAKE UP! signal to your brain.

During sleep your actual physical body is at rest, but there are a lot of critical tasks going on behind the scenes. Not only is your body repairing itself, but it is also taking time to help you download and absorb what happened during the day making memories.

Some memories can be absorbed during rapid eye movement sleep, which is the stage where you dream. Most of the serious repair and downloading takes place during the deeper stages of sleep. If you keep waking up all night, which can happen as many as hundreds of times a night if you suffer from severe sleep apnea, you will not fall into the deep sleep stages. Your body will not get the support it needs to help you store all of the many memories you made throughout the day. Never underestimate the power that sleep can have on your physical and mental health.

This blog post contains general information about medical conditions and potential treatments. It is not medical advice. If you have any medical questions, please consult your doctor.

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Risk Of Publication Bias

Funnel plots were constructed for each domain to investigate the presence of publication bias. On visual inspection, the funnel plots appeared symmetrical, suggesting no bias was present. Publication bias was further investigated using statistical analysis. Eggers test for asymmetry was significant only for verbal recognition . However, Rosenthals Fail-safe N revealed 114 studies with null results would be required to generate a nonsignificant overall effect in this domain. This indicates it is unlikely that the true difference between individuals with OSA and healthy controls on verbal recognition tasks is zero. Further, Duval and Tweedies Trim and Fill procedure was used to determine the best estimate of an unbiased overall effect size. However, the overall effect size was unchanged, suggesting the original effect size was unbiased.

Inspection of the norm-referenced funnel plot suggested there was no publication bias present in the domains. Further inspection of the domains showed Eggers test was significant for visuo-spatial delayed recall . As this domain did not yield a significant effect size, the Fail-safe N was not applicable. The Trim and Fill method identified the best effect size as very similar to the original, suggesting the original effect size was unbiased.

Is There A Link Between Sleep Apnea And Dementia

Sleep Apnea &  Dementia Linked Together.

Researchers in Australia recently performed a study on sleep apnea and dementia that involved older adults. These individuals had all recently visited their doctors concerning issues with memory or mood, but did not have a previous sleep apnea diagnosis. During the study, researchers performed tests to assess the participants memory skills. Each participant was given an MRI scan that measured different parts of their brains. Then, the participants attended a sleep clinic where they were monitored overnight to look for signs of sleep apnea. The test measured brain activity and measured oxygen levels in the blood throughout the night.

What researchers learned was that the patients who had signs of Obstructive Sleep Apnea also had signs that pointed toward dementia. These signs included changes in the brain in areas that affect mood, memory formation, recall, and other areas.

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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

Sleep Apnea And Brain Fog

Scientists have also discovered a link between sleep apnea and short term memory loss as well as sleep apnea and brain fog. Both of these are triggered by a disrupted oxygen flow as a result of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. In particular, those who have been diagnosed with OSA have reported experiencing problems with attention, memory, and other executive functions as a direct consequence of insufficient oxygen flow to the brain. In other cases, the brain damage caused by OSA can lead to reduced creativity, slow thinking, and a lower intelligence quotient.

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How Untreated Sleep Apnea Affects You Head To Toe

    The American Sleep Apnea Association estimates that 22 million Americans have sleep apnea. Of this number, about 80 percent are estimated to have moderate or severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea but are currently undiagnosed. Adding to that, roughly half of CPAP wearers stop using their device within one to three weeks of use, and youre looking at a widespread problem.

    Too many Americans mistake their sleep apnea symptoms for snoring or dont take their symptoms seriously and just endure the poor sleep they are receiving. Why is this a problem? Insufficient sleep isnt just a matter of feeling tired or groggy once in a while. Not getting enough quality sleep and ignoring the telltale signs of sleep apnea can lead to serious health problems. These conditions may hasten the onset of other illnesses and may even take years off of your life.

    Untreated sleep apnea can affect literally almost your entire body, so lets do a check-up and uncover all the ways that untreated sleep apnea impacts you and what you can do about it.

    Understanding The Link Between Sleep Apnea And Brain Damage

    WPAHS News Sleep Apnea-Dementia Link by 1800CPAP.COM.mp4

      According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, about 26 percent of U.S. adults are living with sleep apnea. Many with sleep apnea do not receive the proper treatment. Untreated sleep apnea is often associated with a number of serious health problems, such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. However, a lesser-known risk of this sleep apnea is brain damage. If youre wondering, can you get brain damage from sleep apnea, here is everything you need to know.

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      Sleep Apnea Takes A Toll On Brain Function


      One in 15 adults has moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea, a disorder in which a persons breathing is frequently interrupted during sleep as many as 30 times per hour.

      People with sleep apnea also often report problems with thinking such as poor concentration, difficulty with memory and decision-making, depression, and stress.

      According to new research from the UCLA School of Nursing, in the Journal of Sleep Research, people with sleep apnea show significant changes in the levels of two important brain chemicals, which could be a reason that many have symptoms that impact their day-to-day lives.

      UCLA researchers looked at levels of these neurotransmitters glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid, known as GABA in a brain region called the insula, which integrates signals from higher brain regions to regulate emotion, thinking and physical functions such as blood pressure and perspiration. They found that people with sleep apnea had decreased levels of GABA and unusually high levels of glutamate.

      GABA is a chemical messenger that acts as an inhibitor in the brain, which can slow things down and help to keep people calm like a brake pedal. GABA affects mood and helps make endorphins.

      Glutamate, by contrast, is like an accelerator when glutamate levels are high, the brain is working in a state of stress, and consequently doesnt function as effectively. High levels of glutamate can also be toxic to nerves and neurons.

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