Sleep apnea can effect anyone at anytime. From children to star athletes, no one is immune to the condition which is why it is all too important to be tested for sleep disorders if you display any of the common symptoms, such as snoring and daytime sleepiness that never goes away. While anyone can suffer from sleep apnea, certain groups of people are more prone to suffering from the condition. Smokers are at a higher risk of suffering from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) when compared to non-smokers. In fact, studies have shown that smokers have a three times higher chance of suffering from OSA than non-smokers. Smoking is known to increase inflammation and fluid retention in the upper airway which can further aggravate OSA.
In the end, both smoking and OSA are deadly conditions that, in combination, can severely shorten your life span. It has been proven that both sleep apnea and smoking can cause all sorts of cardiovascular and respiratory health problems. OSA can lead to stroke and heart disease while smoking increases one’s chance of contracting certain types of cancer. Studies have even shown that sleep apneics who smoke generally have heightened triglyceride levels and lowered HDL levels.
Kicking The Habit – An Important Step In Treating Sleep Apnea
In many cases, sleep apnea treatment is a multi-step process, and this is certainly true for smokers. The first step involves diagnosis and then, following a positive diagnosis from a physician, comes finding the right sleep apnea treatment method. When it comes to treating a sleep apneic who smokes, one of the most crucial steps in properly treating the condition is to have the patient work towards breaking the smoking habit. However, smoking has proven to be an extremely tough habit to break. Not only is smoking highly addictive because of the ingredients found in cigarettes, namely nicotine, many smokers aren’t fully aware of the damage that smoking can do to their bodies.
To ensure that smokers are well aware of what the habit can do to one’s body, Australia has decided to ban cigarette logos which will be replaced with health warnings that are boldly displayed on every cigarette package so that those who opt to smoke are frequently reminded of the damage that smoking can do.
If you have ever tried to quit smoking or know someone who has gone through the process, you are probably well aware that withdrawal symptoms are extremely uncomfortable. Those who attempt to quit smoking can suffer from all sorts of withdrawal symptoms including nausea, cramps, headaches, sweating, and even lucid dreaming.
Vivid dreaming is a common occurrence in those who are in the process of quitting smoking and have begun sleep apnea treatment. This is because, when suffering from untreated sleep apnea, patients are rarely able to reach the cycles of deep sleep where dreaming occurs. With treatment, patients begin to dream again and it takes time to get used to it.
In the end, treatment for non-smoking and smoking sleep apneics alike is never a one and done process. Properly treating sleep apnea relies on a solid diagnosis from a medical doctor and ensuring that the treatment method used is working effectively.
Sleep apnea treatment is generally successful with the help of CPAP or oral appliance therapy or both working together. However, in order for treatment to be 100% effective, a sleep apneic who smokes must also work towards ending the habit. While successfully quitting smoking does not guarantee that your sleep apnea will disappear, it makes treatment much more effective.
Are you a smoker who suffers from sleep apnea? Are you looking for treatment that will help cure your sleep apnea so that you are able to live a healthier life? If so, contact The TMJ Therapy and Sleep Center of Colorado online or call (303) 691-0267 today.