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What Causes Sleep Apnea To Worsen

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Health Consequences Of Sleep Apnea

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The chronic sleep deprivation caused by sleep apnea can result in daytime sleepiness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, forgetfulness, and an increased risk of accidents and errors in your daily activities.

Sleep apnea also has a mental impact. It can trigger moodiness and irritability and cause anxiety and depression. It also increases your risk of other serious health problems like high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, atrial fibrillation, and stroke.

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Screening For Sleep Apnea

To screen for sleep apnea or other sleep disorders, your doctor may ask you about common signs and symptoms of this condition, such as how sleepy you feel during the day or when driving, and whether you or your partner has noticed that you snore, stop breathing, or gasp during your sleep. Your doctor may ask questions to assess your risk for developing this condition and take your physical measurements. Your doctor will also want to see whether you have any complications of undiagnosed sleep apnea, such as high blood pressure that is difficult to control. If the screening suggests a sleep breathing disorder, you may get a referral to a sleep specialist to help confirm a diagnosis.

How These Medications Affect Breathing In Sleep

Each of these medications can suppress your breathing and make your upper airway more collapsible. This may worsen sleep-disordered breathing, such as sleep apnea. As these medications also suppress your level of consciousness, you may not be able to protect your airway adequately. This may lead to disrupted breathing, suffocation or asphyxiation, and even death. These medications are frequently implicated in overdose deaths, including among celebrities.

Finally, these medications may have separate effects on your sleep architecture, leading to disrupted sleep even while you remain unconscious.

If you have sleep apnea, you should have a polysomnogram performed when using any of these medications to monitor for side effects. It is important to discuss these risks with your healthcare provider to determine if the benefits of the medication outweigh the potential for harm in your situation.

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What Is The Relationship Between Gerd And Sleep Apnea

    A good nights sleep can be a precious commodityespecially for people with untreated sleep apnea, acid reflux, or both. When health conditions such as these routinely interrupt our sleep cycles , a downward spiral can result.

    GERD and sleep apnea would seem to be completely unrelated conditions, except that they both disrupt sleep. But is there other information to consider in connecting the two?

    The question, are GERD and sleep apnea related? is what were about to discuss here. First, though, lets consider the two conditions independently.

    Thought Diary And Coping Strategies

    Sleeping Disorders May Cause Obesity

    When dealing with stress, many people, such as myself have a tendency to internalize their feelings! They hide their anger and frustration until they begin to suffer the consequences. Using a thought diary, you can easily express your feelings and reduce the risk of such problems hitting you later on.

    Seeing your thoughts transported onto the screen, you will be able to detach from them and think with clarity. This can help improve your sleep duration and quality. You might also notice that you are more stressed when feeling pressured, or that you have trouble accepting negative emotions. Based on your entries, a monthly report will be created and you can share that with your therapist, making genuine breakthroughs.

    These reports can be more useful than you might think. When you go to therapy, you get to spend one hour, or perhaps two, with the therapist. During that time, you will have to relate how you have been feeling over the past few weeks. It can be difficult to remember every useful piece of information, so referring to your CareClinic health app can help you a lot with this.

    You can also use the app to record potential coping strategies and stress-relieving solutions. When needed, you can review these and opt for the one that suits you the best in that specific moment. You can record breathing and relaxation exercises, as these will help you overcome the fight-or-flight response which occurs in stressful situations.

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    Stress Can Affect Your Overall Health

    Chronic stress plays a definite negative influence on physical and mental health, increasing the risk of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, anxiety, depression and autoimmune disorders. People who do not manage their stress levels are at high risk of unhealthy behaviors, including smoking and alcohol abuse, poor eating habits and sedentary lifestyles. They might also present low compliance to the treatment for their pre-existing conditions.

    It is essential to understand that stress must be dealt with, in order to avoid long-term health-related consequences. Effective management should concern not only the situations leading to stress exposure but also finding the most effective coping strategies. Apart from altering the relationship with the environment, one must also learn coping strategies to become more resilient to stress .

    Health apps, such as CareClinic, are considered useful complementary tools in addition to various therapies and interventional programs. It motivates people to adopt healthier behaviors and evidence-based strategies for managing stress and sleep apnea stress .

    What Is Sleep Apnea

    If youre unsure if you have sleep apnea, its important to know what it is and seek diagnosis and treatment. If youre in Tennessee, we offer complimentary consultation and evaluation for in-home testing.

    Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder characterized by breathing cessation or an obstructed airway during sleep. The most recognized symptoms include loud snoring, gasping, or choking during sleep, as well as daytime sleepiness the following day even if you think you got a full nights rest.

    There are three main types of sleep apnea:

    • Obstructive sleep apnea: The most common form of sleep apnea, where your airways become partially or fully obstructed.
    • Central sleep apnea: When your brain doesnt properly signal the muscles that control your breathing, causing breathing cessation.
    • Complex sleep apnea: When you have both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. This is the least common form of sleep apnea.

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    Many Solutions Are Available

    Sleep apnea is very treatable, says Dr. Foldvary especially at centers that provide excellent patient education and a broad range of treatments.

    The gold standard treatment for sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure . But its not one size fits all, she says.

    There are multiple forms of PAP therapy and a wide range of masks. Patients with difficulty tolerating the constant flow of air pressure often prefer auto- or bi-level PAP therapy, and need help with mask options, says Dr. Foldvary.

    When apnea is mild, options include a body pillow or positional device that helps promote sleeping on the side, and oral appliances that advance the lower jaw forward.

    Some people require surgery to remove tonsils or other tissues that block the airway.

    Finally, a limited number of people will benefit from a revolutionary new treatment called hypoglossal nerve stimulation, she says.

    Benzodiazepines Opiates And Barbiturates Can All Impact Breathing

    What Causes Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

    Sanja Jelic, MD, is board-certified in sleep medicine, critical care medicine, pulmonary disease, and internal medicine.

    If you use certain prescription medicationssuch as benzodiazepines, opiates or opioids, and barbituratesyou may wonder how these can affect your risk of sleep apnea. As these medications can have impacts on both sleep architecture, muscle tone, and breathing, the consequences can be important.

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    Know Your Sleep Apnea Risk Level

    Sleep apnea is a serious condition that affects more than 30 million Americans who suffer from lack of restorative sleep.

    The majority are undiagnosed and unaware of their condition.

    Typical symptoms include heavy snoring, excessive daytime sleepiness or fatigue, difficulty with concentration or memory, among many others.

    Untreated, sleep apnea can lead to serious health consequences.

    Sleep Apnea Stress: How Does Stress Affect Sleep

    If you find that you have high levels of stress and are not getting enough sleep, you are not alone. Many of the stressors we face in our daily lives, such as conflicts in our relationships, work stress and traffic jams can trigger our stress response. We can have a fight-or-flight response, and prolonged exposure to this stress without any relaxation can result in poor quality sleep and sleep apnea stress. There are many strategies to improve sleep quality and duration and cope with chronic stress. I have personally found some of these very helpful and hopefully some may also work for you if you are dealing with stress and sleeping issues!


  • Thought diary and coping strategies
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    Eating Right When You Have Sleep Apnea

    There is a growing awareness that sleep apnea and oral hygiene have much to do with each other. However, many patients would be surprised if their dentist asked them about their sleeping patterns. The truth is our oral cavity has a direct role in the cause of sleep apnea a disorder caused by inhibited breathing pathways. What we eat, how we eat, and how our mouths allow the passage of air are all important factors factors that have a much more obvious association with dental health.

    Dentists will, of course, tell you to avoid the traditional sugary treats in order to improve dental health. I want to go a step further and offer some tips that are not only good for dental health they are great for sleep health. If you suffer from sleep apnea, try adding more of these foods into your daily diet this summer:

  • Fruits and vegetables: Rich in nutrients and fibers and of course low on calories fruits and vegetables are ideal substitutes for cookies and candy. Also, fiber promotes a longer feeling of fullness the longer you feel full, the less likely you are to overeat. This is especially crucial, as most sleep apnea sufferers tend to be overweight. Just avoid bananas .
  • Watch out for the following foods, which can make sleep apnea conditions worse:

    Is There A Link Between Gerd And Sleep Apnea

    What is the Main Cause of Sleep Apnea?

    Whats the connection between GERD and sleep apnea? Anyone who suffers from GERD can confirm that it affects sleep. Theres nothing like waking during the night choking on caustic stomach acid to ruin a good nights sleep.

    But then, pets, kids, the phone, and many other things can interfere with your comfortable sleep, too, so we must note that GERD and sleep apnea are connected in a kind of chicken and egg relationship.

    Its unclear whether one of the two leads to the other or if their co-occurrence is a mere coincidence. However, there is a significant difference between the two.

    If GERD burns the back of the throat, but sleep apnea causes the trachea to over-relax, it would seem the two are opposites, not complements. Yet, some researchers suspect that there is a causal link between GERD and OSA.

    Most people with sleep apnea have OSA. But, is there a genuine connection between the two conditions? Investigations of OSAs comorbidity with GERD and various other health concerns are ongoing.

    Are GERD and sleep apnea related? Given the amount of comorbidity to account for, we might never know for sure.

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    What Is Erectile Dysfunction

    Erectile dysfunction is defined as a difficulty or inability to achieve or maintain an erection that’s firm enough for sexual intercourse.

    For many, ED occurs due to underlying medical conditions involving the circulatory and cardiovascular systems. An erection needs a steady supply of blood, and issues related to blood supply can result in a challenges during the erection process.

    Issues related to mental health are also well-understood to contribute to ED. Stress, depression, and anxiety can interrupt the stimulation process and make an erection more difficult. It might even be possible that erectile dysfunction is the result of sleep apnea.

    While there are a variety of treatments for erectile dysfunction, including affordable, effective prescription ED medication and vacuum pumps, these only treat the symptoms and not the cause of the erectile dysfunction.

    Gerd And Sleep Apnea: Which Causes The Other

    Sleep apnea and gastroesophageal reflux disease are two conditions that appear unrelated. However, research shows a correlation between the two.

    What Are Sleep Apnea and GERD?

    Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes people to stop breathing during sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea , the most common type of apnea, occurs when the airway is blocked by soft tissue at the back of the throat. Many people who experience sleep apnea are unaware that their sleep cycle is interrupted throughout the night because they do not awaken completely. They usually complain of daytime sleepiness, headaches, forgetfulness and dry mouth.

    About 60 percent of people with sleep apnea have chronic acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease . Acid reflux occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter remains open and gastric acid backflows into the esophagus. Common symptoms of GERD include heartburn, chest pain, a sour taste in the mouth and bad breath. However, it is possible to have GERD and not experience symptoms at all.

    GERD Treatment Helps Remedy Sleep Apnea

    Although researchers do not fully understand the relationship between sleep apnea and GERD, studies show that sleep disturbances may induce GERD and that untreated acid reflux impairs sleep. One study followed 48 adults who experienced GERD over three times per week. The men and women who had the most severe GERD symptoms also reported the worst sleep problems.

    Schedule an Appointment with a GI Specialist

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    Your Sleep Apnea Doesnt Have To Get Worse Over Time

    So far, weve talked about what the research says and the things that can worsen obstructive sleep apnea as time goes by.

    However, the truth is that things dont have to get worse since we know so much about the age-related risk factors.

    Theres lots you can do to keep your sleep apnea from worsening and wrecking your sleep:

    Weight loss:

    Since obesity is such an important risk factor for sleep apnea, it should be no surprise that shedding pounds can help improve symptoms. Experts say that losing 10% of your weight can lead to a 20% improvement in OSA severity.

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    Avoid smoking and alcohol:

    Since alcohol and smoking can irritate the airway and aggravate sleep apnea symptoms, its obvious if you can cut back on your consumptions it can help improve your sleep. Experts say that even avoiding them in evening can help.

    Get more physically active:

    Regular physical activity is known to promote deep restful sleep. It can also help you get down to a healthier weight.

    Get treated:

    Make sure youre doing everything you can to keep your sleep apnea under control.

    If you havent been properly diagnosed, schedule an appointment with your doctor today. Youre not alone. 80 percent of the cases of moderate and severe obstructive sleep apnea are undiagnosed.

    If your current treatment isnt working, theyre now plenty of options to try more comfortable CPAP air pressure systems, body positioners, nerve stimulators, and surgical implants.

    Learn more:

    What Is A Cpap Device And How Does It Work

    Sleep Apnea: Causes, Symptoms, Tests & Treatments

    A CPAP device is a machine that uses a hose and airtight nosepiece or mask to deliver a steady stream of air as you sleep. The air pressure helps keep your airway open, preventing pauses in breathing.

    CPAP technology is constantly being updated and improved, and the new CPAP devices are lighter, quieter, and more comfortable than they used to be. So even if youve given up on them in the past, you owe it to yourself to give them a second look.

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    Symptoms Of Asthma May Contribute To Sleep Apnea

    Response from Lyn Harper, MPA, BSRT, RRT:

    Different studies have definitely shown a link between asthma, sleep apnea, and snoring. First of all, if you suffer from asthma, you know that if its not well controlled, and even sometimes when it is, you wake up at night with difficulty breathing. You may be wheezing and your chest feels very tight.

    In addition, these same studies suggest that people with asthma are at increased risk to develop sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can cause increased inflammation in the airways a problem that can trigger irritation and constriction of the small airways, leading to worsening asthma. Many people with sleep apnea complain of nasal congestion which can also contribute to snoring and an exacerbation of asthma.

    Since sleep is essential for a good quality of life, its very important to find the underlying cause for wakefulness at night. If its asthma, find out the triggers. Rid your bedroom of upholstery, pet dander, dust mites, and any other allergens that may cause worsening asthma at night.

    Be vigilant about taking medications as prescribed. If you suspect you have sleep apnea, speak to your doctor about it. He or she may recommend you have a sleep study. Sleep apnea can become worse if we carry extra weight around, so try to maintain a healthy weight by a good diet and regular exercise.

    What Can Be Done To Reduce The Risks

    Start by eliminating any of the above avoidable or reversible risks that you can identify. Regardless of the issue that might be making your sleep apnea worse, there are still effective treatment options available including the use of an oral appliance or continuous positive airway pressure .

    Discuss the risks you face with your sleep specialist and find the right solution for you.

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    First What All Types Of Sleep Apnea Have In Common

    Because these awakenings are typically very brief, the person with sleep apnea may not even be aware that they are experiencing interrupted sleep. But the episodes can wreak havoc on the sleep cycle and prevent the person with sleep apnea from reaching the deep, restful phases of sleep. And thats why people who have sleep apnea can experience significant exhaustion and drowsiness the next day, despite getting what they thought was a full night of sleep.

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