While there’s no definitive answer as to whether or not do air purifiers help sleep apnea, many medical professionals have linked a cleaner environment and improved air quality with better overall health, including better sleep quality.
As air purifiers reduce the levels of airborne pollutants, it might lead to improved airways for those suffering from obstructive sleep apnea and therefore help treat sleep apnea symptoms.
Even if you do not suffer from sleep apnea yourself, an air purifier may improve your condition by making the home environment much healthier than it was before.
So, do air purifiers help sleep apnea? The verdict is still out but there is hope that reducing indoor pollution can result in improved breathing and sleeping patterns!
Do Air Purifiers Help Sleep Apnea?
It’s no secret that air pollution isn’t great for health: you’ve probably heard that it can give you a nasty cough or skin issues, but did you know it can also affect your sleep patterns?
A study showed that there could be a link between air pollution and sleep-disordered breathing, with 17% of adults in the United States showing signs.
This is because exposure to poor quality air during the night can cause disturbances during sleep and lead to low blood oxygen – all contributing factors to an increased risk of developing sleep apnea.
Investing in an air purifier may help mitigate this risk by reducing the amount of harmful particles in the air, allowing for better quality of rest.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that occurs when a person’s breathing is repeatedly interrupted during sleep. The word “apnea” literally means “without breath.”
There are three types of sleep apnea: central, obstructive, and complex or mixed.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA):
This is the most common type of sleep apnea, accounting for about 84% of all cases. It occurs when the muscles in the throat relax and block the airway during sleep.
This prevents air from flowing into the lungs, causing the person to briefly wake up in order to restore normal breathing.
OSA is often accompanied by loud snoring and can lead to serious health problems if left untreated, including high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke.
Central sleep apnea (CSA):
Unlike OSA, which is caused by a physical blockage in the airway, CSA is caused by a failure in the brain’s ability to send the proper signals to the muscles responsible for breathing.
During an episode of CSA, the person may not make any effort to breathe for brief periods of time. CSA is less common than OSA, accounting for about 5% of all cases.
It is often associated with underlying health conditions such as heart failure, stroke, and opioid use.
Complex (mixed) sleep apnea:
This type of sleep apnea is a combination of OSA and CSA. It occurs when a person has both an obstructed airway and a failure in the brain’s ability to signal the muscles to breathe.
Complex sleep apnea is relatively rare, accounting for about 11% of all cases. It can be more difficult to diagnose and treat than OSA or CSA because it involves multiple factors.
Symptoms of sleep apnea include loud snoring, gasping or choking during sleep, morning headaches, difficulty staying asleep (insomnia), difficulty paying attention or staying awake during the day, and feeling excessively tired during the day.
Untreated sleep apnea can lead to serious health problems, including high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, and diabetes. It is important for anyone experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea to see a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Effect of Air Pollution on Sleep Apnea
Air pollution can affect sleep apnea in several ways. One way is by exacerbating the symptoms of sleep apnea. For example, air pollution can irritate the airways and make it more difficult for a person with sleep apnea to breathe during sleep.
Air pollution can also increase the risk of developing sleep apnea. A study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine found that people exposed to higher levels of air pollution were more likely to develop sleep apnea.
Finally, air pollution can make existing sleep apnea worse by decreasing the amount of oxygen in the air. This can cause a person with sleep apnea to stop breathing for longer periods of time during sleep, leading to more severe symptoms.
Diagnosis of Sleep Apnea
Polysomnogram (PSG): This is a test that is typically conducted at a sleep center. It involves attaching electrodes to the patient’s head, chest, and legs to measure brain activity, eye movement, heart rate, and muscle activity during sleep.
The test also involves wearing a device on the nose and/or mouth to measure airflow and breathing patterns.
Home sleep test (HST): This is a less invasive test that can be done at home. It involves wearing a device that measures airflow, breathing patterns, and oxygen levels while sleeping.
Physical examination: The doctor will conduct a physical examination to look for signs of sleep apnea, such as enlarged tonsils or a small jaw.
Medical history: The doctor will ask about the patient’s medical history, including any previous sleep studies, and will ask about the patient’s sleep habits and any symptoms they have experienced.
Questionnaire: The doctor may ask the patient to fill out a questionnaire about their sleep habits and any symptoms they have experienced.
It is important to get a proper diagnosis for sleep apnea as it can have serious consequences if left untreated. Some of the long-term effects of sleep apnea include an increased risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke.
Treatment options for sleep apnea include lifestyle changes, such as losing weight and quitting smoking, and the use of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices.
How Air Purifiers Help In Treating Sleep Apnea?
One of the ways that air purifiers can help in treating sleep apnea is by removing pollutants and allergens from the air.
These pollutants and allergens can irritate the airways and make it more difficult for a person with sleep apnea to breathe.
By removing these irritants from the air, an air purifier can help to alleviate some of the symptoms of sleep apnea.
There are several types of air filters that are particularly effective at removing pollutants and allergens from the air. These include HEPA filters, activated carbon filters, and UV filters.
HEPA filters are some of the most effective air filters on the market. They are able to remove up to 99.97% of particles from the air, including pollen, dust, and pet dander. These filters are particularly useful for people with allergies or asthma, as they can help to reduce the symptoms of these conditions.
Activated carbon filters are another type of air filter that can be helpful in treating sleep apnea. These filters are made of activated carbon, a highly porous material that is able to absorb a wide range of pollutants and odors from the air.
Activated carbon filters are particularly effective at removing gases and odors, making them a good choice for people who are sensitive to these types of pollutants.
UV filters are a type of air filter that uses ultraviolet light to kill bacteria and other microorganisms in the air. These filters are particularly useful for people with compromised immune systems, as they can help to reduce the risk of infection.
What Helps Sleep Apnea without CPAP?
While continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is the most common treatment for sleep apnea, there are other options available for those who cannot or do not want to use a CPAP machine.
Oral Appliance Therapy
One alternative treatment for sleep apnea is oral appliance therapy. This involves wearing a custom-fitted mouthpiece at night to help keep the airway open and reduce the number of apnea events.
Oral appliance therapy has been found to be effective in reducing the severity of sleep apnea and improving quality of sleep.
Change in Lifestyle
Lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, quitting smoking, and reducing alcohol consumption, can also help improve sleep apnea symptoms.
Weight loss has been shown to be especially effective in reducing the severity of sleep apnea, as excess weight can put pressure on the airway and contribute to sleep apnea.
Positional therapy, which involves sleeping in a specific position, can also be helpful for some people with sleep apnea.
Sleeping on the back can cause the tongue and soft palate to collapse to the back of the throat, leading to a blocked airway. By sleeping on the side or stomach, this collapse can be prevented.
Other treatment options for sleep apnea include nasal decongestants, antihistamines, and nasal sprays. These can help to reduce nasal congestion and improve breathing during sleep.
Surgical treatments for sleep apnea include uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) and laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP). These procedures involve removing excess tissue from the throat to improve breathing.
While these procedures can be effective, they are typically reserved for more severe cases of sleep apnea and come with a higher risk of complications.
It is important to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the best treatment options for sleep apnea. While CPAP is the most commonly used treatment, there are other options available for those who cannot or do not want to use a CPAP machine.
With the right treatment plan, it is possible to improve sleep apnea symptoms and achieve better quality of sleep.
Can You Train Yourself Out Of Sleep Apnea?
One question that many people ask is whether it is possible to train yourself out of sleep apnea. The answer is a bit more complex than a simple yes or no.
On the one hand, it is possible to make lifestyle changes that can help reduce the severity of sleep apnea. These changes may include:
Losing weight: Being overweight or obese is a major risk factor for sleep apnea. Losing weight through diet and exercise can help to reduce the fat deposits in the throat and neck that can obstruct breathing during sleep.
Avoiding alcohol and sedatives: Alcohol and sedatives relax the muscles in the throat, which can increase the risk of sleep apnea. Limiting your consumption of these substances can help to reduce the severity of sleep apnea.
Quitting smoking: Smoking is another major risk factor for sleep apnea. Quitting smoking can help to reduce inflammation and swelling in the airways, making it easier to breathe during sleep.
Sleeping on your side: Sleeping on your back can increase the risk of sleep apnea. Changing your sleep position to your side can help to keep your airways open and reduce the severity of sleep apnea.
On the other hand, it is important to note that some cases of sleep apnea are caused by structural abnormalities in the airways or by neurological problems that cannot be corrected through lifestyle changes alone. In these cases, treatment may be necessary to manage sleep apnea effectively.
It is possible to make lifestyle changes that can help reduce the severity of sleep apnea. However, in some cases, treatment may be necessary to effectively manage the disorder.
It is important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the best course of action for your specific situation.