While no one has a get out of jail free card when it comes to sleep apnea, there are some people who are more likely to suffer from the condition. Take for instance smokers. Smokers are at a three times higher risk of suffering from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) when compared to people who do not smoke. Since smoking often contributes to increased fluid retention and inflammation in the upper airway, these conditions only worsen the effects of OSA.
Studies have shown that smoking and OSA can be deadly and when combined, the two can quickly shorten your life. Both smoking and OSA cause damage to the respiratory and cardiovascular system as sleep apneics who smoke tend to have heightened triglyceride levels and lowered HDL levels. In fact, OSA has been linked to heart disease and stroke while smoking greatly heightens the risk of being diagnosed with certain types of cancer.
Quitting – A Part Of Successful Treatment
In all sleep apnea patients, smokers or not, treating the condition often requires a step-by-step process. The first step, of course, is being diagnosed with sleep apnea through the use of a sleep study. A sleep physician has to provide a positive diagnosis before treatment can be given. Treating sleep apnea properly may require that some patients use a variety of treatment methods before finding the one that works best for them. Dr. Roubal is experienced in working with alternative treatment including oral appliance therapy.
However, in order for any sleep apnea treatment to be successful for a smoker, kicking the habit has to become part of the treatment process. But, if you’re a smoker or know someone who is, you more than likely know that quitting smoking isn’t easy in the slightest. Cigarettes, mainly due to the nicotine content, are highly addictive yet many smokers aren’t aware of the damage that smoking causes.
In order to spread word and awareness of just how deadly smoking can be Australia has opted to ban cigarette logos that are commonly found on cigarette packages. Instead, logos will now be replaced with health warnings printed on a drab green colored package that isn’t so eye-catching or appealing. The country hopes to increase awareness and frequently remind those that smoke of the risk they are putting themselves in each time they light a cigarette.
While awareness is important, many don’t realize just how difficult it can be to stop smoking. The withdrawal effects of quitting, including cramps, headaches, nausea, and lucid dreaming all make stopping not the most ideal. Vivid dreaming often occurs in smokers who are trying to quit smoking and are in the process of sleep apnea treatment because sleep apnea does not allow the body to reach deep sleep cycles where dreaming occurs. With treatment nightly dreaming becomes much more constant and it can take some getting used to for some.
For a sleep apnea who smokes, quitting and finding the best treatment method possible is critical. No sleep apneic will experience the full effects of treatment if he/she continues to smoke. If you’re a smoker suffering from sleep apnea who is looking for help with finding the right sleep apnea treatment along with quitting, contact Dr. Roubal’s office today! We can help you get on track to a healthier and longer life.