More than 12 million Americans are living with obstructive sleep apnea or OSA. Unfortunately, most people with this condition have no idea they have it. This is a serious problem as OSA may lead to health complications such as obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.
People who smoke on a regular basis are likely to experience a more severe form of sleep apnea than non-smokers. The nicotine found in cigarettes acts as a stimulant and reduces the amount of apneas and hypopneas during sleep.
In addition, smoking leads to upper airway inflammation. When upper airway inflammation occurs, the nose, uvula, and throat may begin to swell and reduce the space in the airway. It is important to note that individuals with moderate to severe OSA who have smoked for long time periods, may also have increased uvular mucosa and uvular collapse, which can impair sleep quality.
By quitting smoking, patients with sleep apnea can improve their condition. Quitting can prevent sore and malfunctioning passages and allow the throat and mouth to be less susceptible to OSA. Fortunately, there are a variety of stop smoking aids that can help patients ditch this bad habit and enjoy a higher quality of life.
Contact Costa Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
If you are a smoker living with sleep apnea, the sleep apnea specialists at Costa Family & Cosmetic Dentistry are an invaluable resource. They can guide you on how to quit smoking and improve your condition. Schedule an appointment at our office today by calling 703-439-1214.