Apnea and asthma are quite common in kids and adults. Having either one of the health conditions may increase the likelihood for the other one to develop in people. In case, one suffers from both asthma and sleep apnea, it will have an influence on how the person responds to treatment options for both.
One reason for that is apnea and asthma have some common risk factors, that increase the likelihood one may develop, either of the conditions or make it tough to manage one condition if one exists. Obesity or being overweight, nasal allergies to dust mites, GERD, and metabolic risk factors of obesity including diabetes are associated with asthma and OSA.
People suffering from severe asthma, in particular, are prone to develop Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Likewise, it may prove to be tough to get asthma in check if sleep apnea is left untreated in a person. Henceforth, apnea patients run the risk of being susceptible to develop asthma over time.
Both health conditions affect the breathing process. OSA is a form of sleep-disordered breathing that occurs when the upper airway collapses recurrently during sleep, which blocks the free airflow. The flow of air is lessened in case of asthma as well, but typically in the lower airways that supply oxygen to the lungs. Asthma-related breathing difficulty will not occur only in sleep usually, but the symptoms do tend to worsen at night.
Once the flow of air is partially blocked, it leads to swelling of the tissues, inflammation, and oxidative stress, which is characterized by a response to sudden increases in the oxygen levels. These responses to asthma and OSA symptoms are quite similar.
If one part of the respiratory tract is blocked, it will make the respiratory tract’s other parts susceptible to collapse at night or prone to inflammation indicate research. This may prove to be an even serious concern if one has shared risk factors of both asthma and apnea.
Both conditions can cause disruptions during sleep if the symptoms are not kept in check, which may lead to not feeling properly rested or refreshed, and lapses in concentration in the daytime. Getting sufficient sleep is significant to manage the associated symptoms. Besides, some researches even indicate that treating OSA in time may improve consequences of asthma if the patient responds well to the apnea treatment.