Coronavirus And Sleep Apnea

By: Robert C. Rawdin, D.D.S., F.A.C.P.

We are living in fearful times due to coronavirus and everyone is extremely concerned with
their own health and the health of the families, friends and loved ones. The coronavirus is a
very contagious virus and the vast majority of those affected will not get very sick. But for those
who do get sick, it can be devastating and, in some cases, fatal. The virus causes respiratory distress in those that get sick.

Since overall health is at top of mind for most people now, we
must be very aware of the health conditions we currently have when thinking about a virulent
virus affecting us. Anyone with existing respiratory or cardiovascular conditions must be very
concerned about coronavirus infection. The same is true for anyone with existing sleep
disordered breathing, such as sleep apnea.

Coronavirus Can Exacerbate Preexisting Health Conditions

With sleep apnea you are more likely to have cardiovascular problems and more likely to
develop type 2 diabetes. As we keep hearing in the news, other health conditions can make you
more likely to fall victim to coronavirus infection. Eating well, sleeping well and doing anything
to help enhance your immune system is helpful in warding off the possibility of severe illness
when affected by coronavirus.

How To Treat Sleep Apnea During The Coronavirus

Anyone who knows they have sleep apnea should know it has to be treated to prevent the
inevitable health consequences . For those that have a CPAP
machine, they must be cautioned about use of this equipment if they indeed get coronavirus. It
is recommended to discontinue using CPAP for patients affected by coronavirus because of the
increased aerosol dispersion and risk to others in their proximity (the only exception would be if
you live alone) – Info from American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

An alternate treatment for sleep apnea is oral appliance therapy. This can be performed by
dentists specifically trained in dental sleep medicine. These oral appliances hold the lower jaw
in a forward position while you are sleeping and help keep your airway open so there is no or
decreased apnea during sleep. These appliances are often advised treatment for sleep apnea;
at this time, they are definitely the best recommended treatment for sleep apnea due to the
fact that CPAP does pose risk for patients and their families that are dealing with coronavirus

Breathing normally during sleep is vitally important for maintaining good health. This also
means trying to keep your immune system strong, especially during these times when we are
all so concerned about getting coronavirus and worrying about the potential ill effects of the

If you have any underlying respiratory or cardiovascular issues, it behooves you to be evaluated
for any sleep related breathing disorder BEFORE you find yourself sick from coronavirus. Take
all precautions and follow the recommendations of our health officials and let’s all stay safe and

Call 212.246.8700 to find out more information or click here to schedule an appointment with Gallery57Dental. Follow Gallery 57 Dental on Facebook here!

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