How does asthma affect sleep apnea treatment?

This question was asked in Mayfield, New York on .
I have had asthma for almost my whole life and I thought that's what was causing my sleep problems but I just found out it's sleep apnea too. Is treatments still possible with my asthma? I don't think I could sleep with those huge masks because of it

Doctors Answers (4)

Vector Sleep Diagnostics Center
Answered on: 7/16/2013

There is a link between sleep apnea and asthma. Some studies demonstastrated improvement of asthma symptoms when treated with CPAP for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). While not everyone can tolerate CPAP treatment even in the absence of asthma, I strongly believe that CPAP therapy should be tried first and your pulmonologist would be coordinating treatment for asthma and OSA. Sleep Lab study would be crutial to determine the best effective and tolerable pressure setting. Best of luck to you.

SomnoDiagnostics, Inc.
Answered on: 7/16/2013

Yes, you can still be treated for sleep apnea, even though you have Asthma. The mask with positive air pressure should not make your Asthma worse. It is important that you acclimate to your mask and CPAP therapy. Keep in mind, this is to help you breathe and in no way should it make it harder for you.

Richard L. Jacobson, D.M.D., M.S.
Answered on: 7/16/2013

We can fit you with a comfortable mandibular posturing device that is very effective. Feel free to call me personally for more information or come in for a consultation.

J. Douglas Hudson, MD, DABSM
Answered on: 7/16/2013

Asthma is not related to sleep apnea. But, like any condition which affects breathing, including allergies or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), sleep apnea may be affected. The obstruction to airflow in the upper airway behind and just below the tongue is bad enough but if your lungs are also compromised then all oxygen exchange is impaired. Asthma treatment is available and treatment of the sleep apnea may help the asthma. The masks are not "huge". There are small nasal masks available and learning to wear the mask is like learning to sleep with your shoes on. Once you learn how, it will become very natural and you may not be able to sleep without the mask. Like we get used to using a pillow.