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Sleep Apnea and Smoking

A woman holding cigarette in her hand.Smoking can lead to several health concerns, including sleep apnea. Numerous studies have found the connection between smoking and sleep apnea. Moreover, smoking can be especially harmful to those who suffer from sleep apnea.

Smoking aggravates sleep apnea. Smoking cigarettes and having sleep apnea can be a dangerous combination.

5 Ways Smoking Can Worsen Sleep Apnea

Several studies have confirmed that smokers are much more likely to suffer from sleep apnea than non-smokers. The correlation is regardless of age, weight, sex, and other lifestyle behaviors. But why are smokers more likely to suffer from sleep apnea compared to non-smokers? Here are five major reasons for the correlation.

Nicotine Smoking Leads to Inflammation of Airway

Smoking can irritate the inner lining of your mouth, throat, and lungs. Over time, the irritation becomes chronic and leads to inflammation, making your air passage narrower and making it more difficult for you to breathe.

Nicotine Stimulates Airway Muscles

Apart from causing inflammation, nicotine is a stimulant that affects your heart and stimulates other muscles in your body, including the airway muscles. When your airway muscles contract, regular breathing can be difficult.

Nicotine Withdrawal Can Cause Sleep Disturbance

Smokers tend to spend less time in deep sleep because they go through nicotine withdrawal symptoms at night. Sleep disturbance due to nicotine withdrawal can also worsen sleep apnea.

Tobacco Smoking is Detrimental to Overall Health

Since smoking negatively affects all parts of the body, including your heart, lungs, immune system, and brain, together the malfunctioning of all integral organs of the body can worsen sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea Can Also Lead to Nicotine Addiction

It might come as a surprise that individuals suffering from sleep apnea may be more susceptible to nicotine addiction. One of the likely reasons could be the fatigue and tiredness during the day that individuals with sleep apnea experience because of lack of sleep which results in anxiety. To manage daytime fatigue and associated anxiety, individuals with sleep apnea often resort to smoking, leading to nicotine addiction.

Quit Smoking and Improve Your Sleep Apnea

Quitting smoking can improve several aspects of your overall health and wellbeing, and it can also help you manage your symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea symptoms. And here is one more reason to motivate you to give up smoking. Individuals who quit smoking are more likely to sleep restfully, wake less frequently and suffer from insomnia and other sleeping disorders less often.

Here you need to know that quitting smoking cannot cure sleep apnea. However, it makes the condition less severe. To get the complete treatment of your condition, it's important to consult your doctor and find a treatment plan that best suits your lifestyle and needs.

If you or your loved ones are struggling with sleep apnea, schedule an appointment at Dallas Oral Surgery Associates and find all your answers about managing and treating this condition. For more information about how you can get your health and your sleep back on track, call us today at 972-733-0414.

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