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Severe COVID could cause OSA


Dr Martin Abelar - December 30, 2022

It’s safe to say it’s been a rough few years for everyone on earth. With the rapid spread of COVID-19, many of us have had to make big adjustments to our lifestyles, including working from home, wearing masks, home schooling, stopping travel, dining out less, shopping online more, and getting vaccinated every few months. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over, and many of us are still living with these changes.

Hopefully, you were fortunate enough to not get COVID-19 thus far. For millions who have, they have recovered and are back to their normal lives, however for some, the debilitating effects of COVID-19 have left long term damage. This is known as “long COVID” and it’s a very real problem facing approximately one in thirteen Americans.

While the symptoms of long COVID vary from person to person, a new study has revealed that those who have suffered from COVID-19 are at a higher risk for developing another serious condition: obstructive sleep apnea.

In fact, according to clinicaltrials.gov, obstructive sleep apnea shares some common factors with those with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) because it is more common with those who are obese, as well as men over the age of 50, both of which groups are at a higher risk for the adverse effects of COVID-19.

This is because with COVID-19, the upper airway becomes inflamed, which in turn leads to congestion, which can cause problems during sleep which lead to sleep apnea. Researchers believe that “an altered microbiome in the upper airway” will then cause even worse nasal inflammation, triggering OSA in those who have suffered from COVID-19.
Unfortunately, while you may not be able to prevent COVID-19 entirely, nor can you control if you get long COVID or any damaging side effects from the illness, you can treat problems like obstructive sleep apnea.

To determine if you have sleep apnea, your first step is to undergo a sleep study, either at home or at a sleep clinic. Once you have a diagnosis, reach out to Dr. Abelar to begin treatment. Dr. Abelar offers custom sleep orthotics that fit comfortably into the mouth and prop your airway open as you sleep, allowing you to breathe better.

While we can’t take your COVID related symptoms away, we can offer relief from obstructive sleep apnea, no matter the cause.
If you are ready to start treating your obstructive sleep apnea symptoms, contact Dr. Abelar’s office for a consultation today.

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