How to Manage Sleep Apnea During COVID-19 Pandemic?
The start of 2021 was not as disastrous as 2020, but as the year advanced, the COVID-19 pandemic has been sweeping the globe. 2020 saw a gradual increase in the death toll due to the outbreak of contagious infection of the Coronavirus. Originated in Asia, this new virus spread across the globe, putting immense stress on the entire healthcare industry and medical fraternity.
What is COVID-19?
The COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by the recently surfaced Coronavirus. Although most people recover without unique treatments, the death toll and complications have also risen in many. The Coronavirus mainly affects the respiratory system and causes mild to severe breathing problems.
The Coronavirus spreads through mucus droplets of an infected person through cough, sneeze, or even exhales. The mucus droplets are too heavy to be spread through air and fall quickly on the floor or surfaces. The Coronavirus is known to be alive for 48 to 72 hours on metal surfaces and can be fatal for people suffering from co-morbidity.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a severe sleep disorder characterized by repeated stoppage in breathing while asleep. If not treated, sleep apnea can prove to be a fatal health issue, and a reduced supply of oxygen to the brain and other vital organs might cause stroke, hypertension, heart failure, diabetes, heart attack, cardiomyopathy, or even death.
People with sleep apnea might stop breathing hundreds of times while asleep but wake up without knowing the issue they faced. Obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea are the most frequent forms of sleep apnea.
Obstructive sleep apnea is the usual form of sleep apnea and causes the diaphragm and the chest muscles to work harder than usual to exert pressure to open the obstruction in the breathing tract. The oral muscles support the delicate tissues placed in the throat. When the oral muscles relax, the soft tissues fall back and choke the respiratory tract, causing a pause in breathing. Experienced dentists perform obstructive sleep apnea treatment in Mesa. Often dental appliances can also cure obstructive sleep apnea.
Central sleep apnea is rare, and the respiratory tract is not blocked, but the brain malfunctions to dictate the muscles to breathe due to dysfunction of the respiratory control center.
Sleep Apnea and COVID-19
A systematic review published in the Sleep Medicine Reviews patients with sleep apnea runs a higher risk of adverse COVID-19 outcomes. Moreover, independent research reveals that obstructive sleep apnea can be an individual and increased risk of COVID-19 morbidity and mortality.
Although there is no evidence that sleep apnea might heighten the risk of contracting the Coronavirus, several factors and studies reveal that people with sleep apnea are more prone to be infected by the COVID-19. Specific underlying medical issues as listed below can lead to sleep apnea and increase the risk of contracting the Coronavirus.
- Liver disease and indigestion.
- Weak or compromised immunity system.
- Severe obesity with BMI over 40.
- Chronic lung disease.
- Chronic kidney diseases.
What Patients with Sleep Apnea Need to Know?
Continuous positive airway pressure therapy or CPAP is an excellent way to treat sleep apnea and manage obstructive breathing during sleep. The recent surge in spread and rise in mortality rates by the COVID-19 is causing sleep issues in some. You might be thinking that using the CPAP can increase the risk of contracting the Coronavirus, but it is just a myth. CPAP is safe, and the COVID-19 cannot infect you by using CPAP alone.
A mild cough can be a symptom of the COVID-19 infection, but one should not stop using CPAP as sound sleep can boost your immunity. Using the CPAP does not spread the virus to your lungs even if you have contracted the Coronavirus. The CPAP also does not infect people around you, even if you are suffering from the COVID-19. You may use tap water after boiling it if you run out of distilled water.
In cases of emergency, it is recommended to visit the dentist or a medical professional. Taylor Made Sleep can be the sleep center near you if you reside in Mesa, AZ. You may improve your night sleep with our expert help. Book an appointment to know more.