Your restless nights may be due to acid reflux, one of the leading causes of obstructive sleep apnea. Acid reflux sufferers who feel no discomfort during the day may be perplexed by the fact that their symptoms typically worsen while sleeping.
Being on your feet and moving about all day will help keep your stomach acid where it belongs. It is easier for stomach acid to travel up your esophagus when lying down, and sleep apnea can exacerbate the condition.
The Acid Reflux and Sleep Apnea Connection
The relationship between acid reflux and sleep apnea has yet to be entirely understood. There is a theory that acid reflux can lead to sleep apnea by tightening the vocal cords and making breathing difficult. Some researchers also hypothesized that a shift in airway pressure causes sleep apnea-related reflux.
The air pressure in your lungs will shift when you stop breathing because of a sleep apnea episode. As a result, stomach acid might be drawn back up into the esophagus. When you first start breathing again, it is common to breathe more heavily, which might aggravate acid reflux symptoms. This deeper breathing pattern can bring stomach acid back into the esophagus.
Sleep apnea can be brought on by acid reflux, too. The nighttime spasms of throat muscles and vocal cords resulting from acid reflux can cause obstructive sleep apnea. It may seem like a catch-22, but several studies have shown that improving one ailment can help with the other.
Why You Should Seek Medical Assistance for Acid Reflux
The discomfort of acid reflux is more than just an annoyance. It is a problem that can lead to worse issues later on.
Stomach acid does several things, including eroding the lining of your esophagus, which can increase your risk of developing esophageal cancer. Seeing a doctor about your sleep apnea and GERD symptoms can help you figure out the best treatment plan for both conditions simultaneously.
Reach out for an evaluation if you have reflux symptoms and think they might be caused by obstructive sleep apnea or another sleep problem. You can contact the Atlanta Sleep Apnea Treatment Center today to schedule an appointment. An easy and brief sleep evaluation could mean the difference between more nights of inadequate sleep and the rest you require for a better quality of life.
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