What Is Sleep Apnea Exactly:

Sleep apnea is a condition where the muscles relax during sleep, causing interruptions in breathing. It can cause soft tissue in the back of the throat to collapse and block the upper airway. This can sometimes happen for 10 seconds or longer. This is a serious health risk as it can cause a higher risk for heart attack, stroke, and other symptoms.


The Affects On Asthma:

Sleep apnea and asthma relate to each other more than you think. It is an asthma trigger, or something that makes asthma symptoms worse. It can cause nighttime asthma flares because of swelling and irritation of the airways. This condition can also cause or worsen gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) which is also an asthma trigger. Controlling your symptoms will help reduce asthma symptoms.


Treatment Options:

Sleep apnea is a serious condition. The first round of recommendations includes lifestyle changes. 3 recommendations include losing weight, avoiding alcohol, and quitting smoking. Avoiding medications that can relax your central nervous system is another treatment suggestion. These medications include sedatives or muscle relaxers.

After making these lifestyle changes, a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine will be used for primary treatment. There is a face mask attached to a tube and respiratory machine. The machine blows pressurized air into the mask and through the airways during sleep. This will help keep airways open.

If the CPAP does not solve the issue treatment options include: a surgical procedure to widen the airways, repositioning the lower jaw to increase airflow, or an implant in the upper chest to stimulate muscles and restore normal breathing.

If you are struggling with sleep apnea and it is affecting your asthma, an ENT at National Allergy & ENT can assist you in finding the best treatment option for you. To schedule an appointment call (843) 576-3302 or schedule online.