TBI from Car Accident or other Trauma Could Cause Sleep Apnea

Have you been involved in a car accident or suffered a blow to the head and now you find yourself waking up frequently during the night? Are you waking up in the morning with a headache? Are you tired through the day? You may even find yourself dozing off in the middle of activities like reading, watching TV, or, worse, while driving.

These are all common symptoms of sleep apnea, which may develop after a traumatic brain injury.

Link between TBI and Sleep Apnea

We aren’t sure how TBI causes sleep disturbance, but some studies show that as much as 98% of sufferers have some form of sleep disturbance after TBI. This includes:

  • Frequent waking

  • Loss of daytime function

  • Daytime sleepiness

  • Insomnia

The number of people that have objectively verifiable symptoms is much lower than the upper limit of those that report symptoms, perhaps 70% of TBI victims.

Obstructive sleep apnea is one of the most serious sleep disturbances developed by TBI victims and only about 36% of TBI victims develop it. Veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have provided much information about the link between TBI and sleep apnea, and it seems that people are more likely to develop sleep apnea after blunt force TBI than other types.

Have You Suffered a TBI?

You may think that you have to crack your skull to suffer a TBI. However, some of the most serious TBI cases occur without a crack in the skull. You may even suffer TBI without hitting your head against anything. In a car accident, for example, you experience such rapid acceleration that your brain can rebound against the inside of your skull with such force that you can suffer injury.

To know whether you suffered TBI, watch out for these symptoms:

  • Headaches

  • Visual disturbance

  • Dizziness

  • Emotional changes

  • Memory loss

  • Inability to concentrate

  • Seizures

As well as some symptoms that may overlap with sleep apnea, such as fatigue and daytime sleepiness.

If you have been diagnosed with a TBI and suspect sleep apnea, we can help you get a diagnosis from a physician, as well as help you find the most comfortable sleep apnea treatment.

To learn more, please contact the Advanced Dental Sleep Treatment Center in Omaha today.