If you have obstructive sleep apnea or OSA, there’s a chance you could also have GERD, according to a new study. The study, titled The Relationship Between Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) in Inpatient Settings: A Nationwide Study found that those with GERD were more likely to have OSA than those who did not have GERD. In fact, it also found that a very specific demographic had a higher risk: those who are female, smoke, are obese, are white, have type 2 diabetes and who live in the southern part of the United States are all at a higher risk of an OSA/GERD connection.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease affects an estimated 20 percent of Americans each year, while sleep apnea affects upwards of seven percent of men and five percent of women in America. While the connection between the two conditions is not yet known, the study highlighted a need for more OSA screenings in people who have GERD, who also have type 2 diabetes, are obese, and who smoke. The study did not say whether or not treating the GERD reduced OSA symptoms, but thankfully if you have OSA and GERD there are treatment options.
If You Have GERD
Speak to your doctor about prescription or over-the-counter treatment for your GERD. You may also want to make dietary changes that could lessen the severity of your GERD symptoms.
If You Smoke or Are Obese
Speak to your doctor if you are a current smoker, or if you are overweight or obese. Getting on a sensible cessation program and diet can help improve your overall health, including your OSA symptoms. It could even help lessen the severity of your GERD symptoms as well.
If You Have OSA
If you have obstructive sleep apnea, don’t feel stuck in a cycle of CPAP therapy. Dr. Abelar offers custom-made sleep orthotics that can replace CPAP therapy, naturally. These devices fit comfortably into the mouth, propping open the airway, making it easier to breathe while lying down.
To learn more about custom sleep orthotics to treat your OSA, please contact Dr. Abelar’s office today.