Sleep Disorders

Reducing Inflammation with the Treatment of Sleep Apnea

There are plenty of good reasons to persuade people with sleep apnea to be treated. The widespread disorder can cause disruptions in breathing at night, which can ruin sleep and raise the likelihood of problems like fatigue and obesity.

The standard treatment for the condition is a mask worn at night that delivers continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). Wearing the CPAP can significantly improve your apnea, and may do more than just restore normal breathing at night. Some research suggests that it may reduce inflammation, benefiting overall health.

Many studies have already looked at the link between sleep apnea and high levels of inflammatory markers. To get a clearer picture of the connection, a team of researchers recently carried out a meta-analysis that took data from trials involving over 1,000 patients.

The data suggested that treating sleep apnea with CPAP significantly reduces levels of two proteins associated with inflammation: tumor necrosis and C- reactive protein, or CRP. Sleep apnea is a risk factor for several severe chronic conditions like type 2 diabetes and heart disease. It is not clear whether apnea helps drive the development of these disorders or vice versa. But reducing inflammation may be one way in which treatment with CPAP reverses some of the long-term consequences of the sleep disorder.

Overall treating sleep apnea with positive airway pressure helps to lower systemic inflammation, which may prevent some of the other problems associated with the disorder.

Sleep Disorders

Sleep Apnea Facts

  • Patients who leave sleep apnea untreated are at a four times higher risk of stroke and a three times higher risk for heart disease than those without it.
  • On average, patients with sleep apnea experience 60 apneas per hour each night.
  • According to the National Commission on Sleep Disorders Research, about 38,000 deaths per year are caused by cardiovascular issues stemming from sleep apnea.
  • Men are twice as likely to have sleep apnea than women.
  • Patients with asthma have a 40% higher chance of developing sleep than patients without.
  • About 20% of patients say they do not use their CPAP machine enough to be safe, but with todays new technology and PAP equipment compliance has increased to a record level of about 50% of patients that are compliant and benefit from therapy.
  • For continued insurance and results, patients should use their CPAP machine 70% of a 30 day period. This means four hours or more per night.


For more information on Sleep Apnea Please call our office at 386-423-0505.

Sleep Disorders

Symptoms of Depression Reduced with CPAP Therapy

A new study shows that depressive symptoms are extremely common in people who have obstructive sleep apnea, and these symptoms improve significantly when sleep apnea is treated with continuous positive airway pressure therapy (CPAP). Results show that nearly 73% of sleep apnea patients had clinically significant depressive symptoms at baseline, with a similar symptom prevalence between men and women. These symptoms increased progressively and independently with sleep apnea severity.

However, clinically significant depressive symptoms remained in only 4% of the sleep apnea patients who adhered to CPAP therapy for 3 months. Of the 41 treatment adherent patients who reported baseline feelings of self-harm or that they would be “better dead,” none reported persisting suicidal thoughts at the 3-month follow up. “Effective treatment of obstructive sleep apnea resulted in substantial improvement in depressive symptoms, including suicidal idealization,” said senior author David R. Hillman, MD, clinical professor at the University of Western Australia and sleep physician at the Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Perth. “the findings highlight the potential for sleep apnea, a notoriously under diagnosed condition, to be misdiagnosed as depression.”

For more information regarding sleep apnea call our office at 386-423-0505


Sleep Disorders

Young Veterans with PTSD Prone to Higher Risk of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

According to Mayo Clinic, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is described as a mental health condition triggered by a terrifying event; either by experiencing or witnessing it. A new study of young US veterans indicated an increasing probability of having obstructive sleep apnea with those possessing PTSD. With increasing severity of PTSD, veterans have shown higher risks of having obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

One hundred and ninety-five Iraq and Afghanistan veterans were evaluated at a VA outpatient PTSD clinic for the study. Results indicated that 69.2% of these participants were at a higher risk for sleep apnea with increasing severity of PTSD symptoms. According to investigator Sonya Norman, PhD, researcher at San Diego VA, veterans with PTSD should be screened for OSA in order to be properly diagnosed and treated. She continues by adding that such information is essential because of the risk factors that are attached to sleep apnea.  Some of which include hypertension, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and psychological problems such as depression and anxiety.

At least 25 million adults in the US have been reported to have obstructive sleep apnea according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Symptoms may include snoring, gasping or choking during sleep, non- restorative sleep, and daytime sleepiness. Because younger veterans are rarely screened for sleep apnea, they remain undiagnosed. Although the mechanism behind the relationship between sleep apnea and PTSD in veterans remains unclear, potential factors may connect the two disorders.  Such factors include prolonged sleep deprivation, hyper arousals as a result of physical and psychological stressors of combat and disturbed sleep during combat. It is important to get yourself properly diagnosed and treated if you or someone you know have experienced any of the symptoms described in this article. Feel free to contact our office at (386)-423-0505.

Sleep Disorders

Men With Sleep Apnea More Likely To Suffer From Depression

The most common form of apnea is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), caused by an airway blockage from soft nasal tissue in the throat and/ or nasal passages collapsing during sleep. About 18 million Americans have OSA, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Sleep apnea has been linked to potentially dangerous conditions such as high blood pressure and increased risk of stroke. Now a study adds evidence that for men, sleep apnea also increases the chance of suffering from depression.

 A recent study was done including 1875 men between the ages of 35 and 83 who were evaluated twice for depression over a five-year period. A random sample of the participants, all previously undiagnosed with OSA, underwent polysomnography (a sleep study) and completed a questionnaire that assessed their level of daytime sleepiness.  Results showed that men with previously undiagnosed OSA were more likely to be depressed, as were men with excessive daytime sleepiness. Men with both OSA and daytime sleepiness were four to five times more likely to have depression than men without either condition.
Sleep Disorders

Escalation of Cancer Risk in Patients with Sleep Apnea

A common disorder involving fatigue, snoring and precarious breathing at night is described as sleep apnea. Recent studies have shown that persons with sleep apnea have a higher risk of cancer. Millions of Americans suffer from some form of sleep apnea. For sleep specialists, this is of great concern as it causes oxygen deficiency at night and closely links to cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and obesity. According to Dr. Joseph Golish, a professor of sleep medicine, these studies are the first to support a solid association between cancer and sleep apnea patients.

The studies showed that persons with the irregular abnormal breathing patterns had a five times the rate of dying from cancer than those without sleep disorder. A 65% greater risk for those with severe forms of sleep apnea was also observed. Upon consideration of variables, researchers ruled out age, smoking, alcohol use, physical activity and weight in their associations made. Dr. Martinez-Garcia proposed that treatments such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), which maintains an open airway at night, may reduce the association between cancer and sleep apnea. It was therefore concluded that persons with sleep apnea are prone to many health risks and that breathing disruption during sleep is a severe problem that needs to be addressed.