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Sleep Apnea Inflammation Could Worsen COVID-19 Symptoms

sleep apnea symptoms park city utAnother new study has revealed more dangers associated with sleep apnea. This time, the danger comes from COVID-19. According to a study published in the journal Sleep and Breathing, the risk of having to be hospitalized with severe symptoms of COVID-19 or dying from the illness is higher in those with obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA.

The study used anonymous data taken from respondents in 14 countries such as the United States, Brazil, Canada, France and Japan. In total 26,000 people responded. Using data from May to August 2020, researchers found that “patients with OSA have a significantly increased risk of severe COVID-19, as well as hospitalization and mortality”

The average age for respondents in the study was 40 years old, and most of the respondents with comorbid conditions reported those conditions as being depression, insomnia, heart disease, and diabetes, all commonly found in patients with sleep apnea.

But why are these numbers higher for obstructive sleep apnea patients? Researchers believe inflammation is once again the key to this mystery. Researchers stated that this inflammation could “enhance” the virus in those patients.

They also noted that many patients who suffered more from COVID-19 may as yet be undiagnosed with sleep apnea, which left untreated could make their COVID-19 symptoms worse.

This is just one more reason to take charge of your sleep habits. If you have any of the above comorbid conditions, wake frequently during the night, feel lethargic or tired during the day despite getting what you thought was a good night’s sleep, or have a partner that complains you are snoring or that you seem to stop and restart breathing as you sleep, you could have sleep apnea.

Speak to your physician about undergoing a sleep test, and discuss your options for sleep apnea with your doctor or Dr. Peterson. Don’t be afraid of cumbersome sleep apnea machines like the CPAP machine. There are more comfortable options now available, including mandibular advancement devices (MAD’s) that can do the same job as CPAP therapy without the use of those awkward, uncomfortable CPAP masks.

If you are interested in learning more about MAD’s and how they can help you get a better night’s sleep and reduce your risk of many comorbid conditions, contact Dr. Peterson’s office today.



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