Everyone is aware that smoking causes lung cancer. That alone should be proof that you need to quit smoking to maintain your health and well-being. But if that doesn’t do the trick, we have one more combination you will want to beware of: Sleep apnea and smoking is a deadly combination.
Smokers have an increased risk for developing sleep apnea. In fact, smoking might even triple your risk for developing sleep apnea, which can have deadly consequences if not treated.
What is the connection?
Smoking causes a narrowing of the airway, which can increase the risk of sleep apnea. This is also the reason why seemingly unrelated physical features such as enlarged tonsils or adenoids are also a risk factor of sleep apnea. Cigarette smoking is a risk factor to sleep apnea because, over time, smoking can cause the airway to become narrower. As a result, it can lead to an increased risk of airway obstruction while sleeping.
The narrowing of your airway occurs because cigarette smoke is an irritant, and smoking can cause the upper airway to become inflamed. The irritation from smoking can lead to increased fluid retention in the area. Inflammation and retained fluid combine to narrow the airway, which increases the likelihood of snoring and other sleeping problems.
It’s time to quit smoking
The treatment of sleep apnea is a multi-step process, but quitting smoking plays a big role in improving the treatment process. When it comes to treating a sleep apnea patient who smokes, one of the most crucial steps in properly treating the condition is to have the patient quit smoking. While smoking is has proven to be an extremely tough habit to break, but it is not impossible. By talking to Dr. Patel and understanding the negative effects of smoking on the body, you can successfully quit this bad habit.
Contact Craniofacial Pain & Dental Sleep Center of Georgia for more information on sleep apnea and how quitting smoking can significantly improve your treatment.