MARYS, Sept. 4, 2023 (HealthDay News) — A continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine can relieve not only sleep apnea but the heartburn and heartburn that sometimes often accompany it, a new study suggests. Chronic cough.
People with sleep apnea are less likely to experience gastroesophageal reflux than is the case, said lead researcher Dr. Thorarinn Gislason of the sleep department at Llanspitali National University Hospital in Iceland. three times as many people.
However, Gislason believes that reflux patients should not be tested for sleep apnea unless they have other symptoms.
“We have a long list of symptoms and complications of sleep apnea, including daytime sleepiness and respiratory symptoms like coughing or wheezing,” he said. “If you have these symptoms, you may want to consider being evaluated for sleep apnea.”
Sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of the throat relax too much, causing the airways to narrow or close. If patients are not getting enough air, they wake up to open their airways. This awakening is usually so brief that he doesn’t remember it. You may snore, choke, or gasp. This pattern can repeat anywhere from 5 to 30 or more times per hour throughout the night.
This constant interruption of sleep can have serious health consequences. Sleep apnea increases the risk of daytime sleepiness, cardiovascular problems, type 2 diabetes, and liver disease.
The most effective way to treat sleep apnea is with a CPAP machine, Ghislason said.
“It’s the most effective treatment because it puts you in the same situation as someone who doesn’t have obstructive sleep apnea,” he explained. “If you wear the device all night, every night, you’re in the same situation as someone who doesn’t have obstructive sleep apnea at all.”
Dr. David Hill, assistant professor of clinical medicine at Yale School of Medicine and volunteer medical spokesperson for the American Lung Association, explains why gastroesophageal reflux is linked to sleep apnea.
“When patients have airflow obstruction from sleep apnea, they breathe harder to try to overcome it,” Hill said. “This can make reflux worse because they cause stomach acid to go up into the esophagus and It can get into the lungs. Relief from sleep apnea ultimately makes it easier to breathe and helps prevent reflux.”
For the study, published online Aug. 31 in the journal ERJ Open Research, Gislason and colleagues studied 822 Icelandic patients diagnosed with moderate-to-severe sleep apnea.
Before starting CPAP therapy, patients participated in a nocturnal sleep study and completed sleep questionnaires, including whether they had heartburn or hiccups during the night.
Two years later, the researchers conducted a follow-up assessment of the patients, measuring data stored in their CPAP devices.
The researchers found that people who used CPAP regularly were 42 percent less likely to experience nighttime heartburn compared with those who used little or no CPAP.
The reduction in gastroesophageal reflux resulted in a more than four-fold reduction in morning mucous coughs and a nearly four-fold reduction in the risk of chronic bronchitis. Users of regular CPAP machines were also less likely to experience wheezing, the researchers noted.
The researchers explain that CPAP, which keeps the upper airway open during sleep, may help keep the valve that separates the stomach from the esophagus closed, preventing stomach acid from backing up into the tube that carries food.
“This study supports what many of us sleep physicians know from experience: Treating sleep apnea with CPAP can significantly improve symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), ” sleep medicine expert and medical reviewer for SleepApnea.org Dr. Joseph Krainin said. “This study focused on nocturnal GERD, but in my experience, patients can also experience significant improvement in daytime GERD.”
The ability of a CPAP device to relieve gastroesophageal reflux is another reason to treat sleep apnea, Hill adds, “especially if you have reflux symptoms, or persistent heartburn or coughing, it can help you with those issues while Address other issues related to sleep apnea,” he added.
Another expert advised patients to take the symptoms seriously.
“If you have any type of GERD symptoms and it’s not really getting better, if you’re wheezing at night or coughing in the morning, then you should definitely discuss it with your doctor to see if (a) study in New Hyde, NY “Sleep will be used to assess for sleep apnea,” said Dr. Luis Quintero, sleep, critical and pulmonary care physician at Park Northwell Health. “
For more information on sleep apnea, see the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Thorarinn Gislason, MD, Department of Sleep, Llanspitalli National University Hospital, Iceland, Reykjavik; Joseph Krainin, MD, Sleep Physician, Medical Reviewer, SleepApnea.org; David Hill, MD, New Haven, CT Clinical Assistant Professor, Yale School of Medicine, Volunteer Medicine Spokesperson, American Lung Association; Luis Quintero, DO, Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Physician, Northwell Health, New Hyde Park, NY; ERJ Open Research, August 31, 2023, Online .