Obstructive sleep apnea affects around 20 million Americans and can lead to hypertension, heart attack, stroke, depression, muscle pain, fibromyalgia, morning headaches, and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Friday, July 13, 2012

New Study Suggests that Sleep Apnea Effects May be Worse in Cold Weather

The effects of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) may worsen in cold weather, according to the findings of a recent study in Brazil.

Researchers from the Hospital de Clinicas Porto Alegre reviewed the results of sleep studies conducted on approximately 7,500 adults over a 10-year span. The researchers grouped data regarding apnea events (or periods in which a patient’s breathing stops during sleep), airflow, snoring and cardiac arrhythmia into four seasonal periods.

The review of data indicated that more patients sought diagnosis for sleep apnea symptoms in the winter months, and that instances of arrhythmia among those with OSA occurred more in winter than any other season. Previous studies have indicated that environmental factors such as atmospheric pressure, carbon monoxide levels and humidity can influence the severity of obstructive sleep apnea.

While this study—the results of which were published in the medical journal Chest—did not yield a conclusive link between sleep apnea and cold weather, researchers believe that the prevalence of upper-airway disturbances during the winter months can magnify sleep apnea symptoms and may be why more patients sought testing for sleep apnea in the winter.

In addition to continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices, the field of dental sleep medicine offers a number of comfortable and effective treatment options for sleep apnea, including custom oral appliances.

If you or a loved one suffers from chronic snoring or other symptoms of sleep apnea, please contact IHateCPAP.com to locate a dentist near you who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea.

posted by Anonymous at 1:36 PM