Smoking is one of the most common addictive habits that is hard to break without any help or advice. Smokers should be wary of the implications it can have on their health; with an increased risk of lung cancer and obstructive sleep apnoea.
Advertised across every cigarette packet are the risk factors that come along with smoking; smoking can cause lung and throat cancer; smoking kills. But one risk condition not so commonly mentioned is obstructive sleep apnoea
Obstructive sleep apnoea is a respiratory sleeping disorder in which your breathing stops periodically during sleep. Smokers are more at risk of developing OSA as the smoke can cause inflammation and fluid retention to your upper airways, causing obstruction. Sleep apnoea can affect anyone; whether a top athlete or newborn baby. Certain lifestyle choices however can put you more at risk of developing OSA; such as being overweight, drinking alcohol or smoking.
Common symptoms of OSA include breathing pauses during your sleep, choking or gasping for breath during the night, excessive daytime tiredness or loud chronic snoring. Discover more symptoms of OSA here, to figure out whether or not you should conduct a sleep study.
Smoking and OSA can both be life threatening conditions and combined can increasingly reduce your lifespan. Research states that sleep apnoea sufferers who smoke have heightened triglyceride levels and lower HDL levels.
I think I might be at risk of sleep apnoea as I am showing symptoms of the condition and smoke. How can I treat my condition?
If you are recognising that you suffer from symptoms of obstructive sleep apnoea and smoke, then you should consult your GP or conduct a private and confidential at-home sleep study. Once your diagnosis for OSA has been confirmed with an apnoea test, you will then be advised on the most suitable treatment option. CPAP therapy is usually recommended after conducting an apnoea test if the symptoms are confirmed as it has a very high success rate in treating OSA symptoms. Snorers and mild OSA suffers might want to try an oral mandibular advancement instead which is clinically proven to treat mild symptoms. You can consult your GP or healthcare provider for further information.
Smokers should also make a conscious effort to quit smoking to ensure that the treatment will be most effective. Quitting smoking will improve your treatment, although it comes with no guarantee that your sleep apnoea will completely vanish. It is critical that you cut back the cigarettes which will only be more problematic to your condition and health. When you start CPAP therapy after quitting smoking, you might experience withdrawal symptoms including headaches, sweating and vivid dreams. This is due to the fact that before treatment, OSA can prevent the patient from reaching the cycles of deep sleep when dreaming occurs. Once you have treated your OSA symptoms, you will experience a deeper sleep and will begin to start dreaming again.
Find out more about CPAP therapy and how it can treat your sleep apnoea symptoms by getting in touch!
If you believe you might be at risk of obstructive sleep apnoea and are keen to hear about diagnostic and treatment options to help improve your sleep, contact us on 0800-024-8050 or visit our sleep study store for more information.