PTSD and Sleep Apnea
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is very often seen in war veterans or first responders who have been through a traumatic situation, but it can affect your average, everyday person as well. After all, the definition of “trauma” is subjective. If you have PTSD, unfortunately, you may also be at risk for OSA – recent research has shown that PTSD and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are linked.
PTSD can start any time after witnessing or being in the middle of a traumatic event – days, weeks, months, or even years later. Someone with PTSD might have nightmares, anxiety attacks, and flashbacks to the event. PTSD can lead to chronic stress issues, health issues such as high blood pressure, and, of course, sleep issues.
OSA is a serious sleep disorder in which the airway is blocked during sleep. Breathing stops and starts again throughout the night. The symptoms of OSA include snoring, memory problems, morning headaches, difficulty concentrating, and being excessively tired during the day. Because it puts such stress on the body, it can lead to serious health problems such as heart disease and high blood pressure.
The PTSD and OSA connection
The research study found that nearly 70% of veterans with PTSD are at high risk for OSA. It is thought that the two are linked because of sleep issues that patients with PTSD are already having – eventually these sleep issues become more serious and develop into OSA.
However, there is help for OSA. A common treatment is a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine; however, many people find a CPAP machine uncomfortable and, in the end, more trouble than it’s worth. If you’ve tried a CPAP machine but didn’t like it, there are other options available, including oral appliance therapy or even surgery.
If you suffer with PTSD you may also have to deal with OSA and other sleep issues. eos dental sleep in Philadelphia can provide help for your sleep problems. Dr. Marc Levin and his staff can determine why you are having problems sleeping and can give you different options to help. Call the office today at (215) 241-0700 for an appointment!