Monday, October 19, 2009

Sleep Apnea and Coughing

If you have read any of my past posts then you know that my father also had sleep apnea. His snoring would be loud one minute and then it would abruptly cut off. My snoring is similar. But one thing that Dad did that I don’t do that much of is cough, especially in the morning.

As I can remember my Father didn’t have asthma, or any other type of illness that would make him cough. He didn’t smoke or drink. He did have heart disease and his blood circulation was weak but I don’t think that had anything to do with his coughing. Of course back then no one ever spoke of sleep apnea, so that wasn’t considered a reason for his coughing.

From what I have read others have experienced coughing and choking along with their sleep apnea. I can certainly understand that when you are trying to gasp for air in the middle of the night!

One possible reason for the coughing is that the throat is sore which makes sense because after a particularly bad night of trying to sleep my throat is very sore. There is also a connection between acid reflux (which I have and it is really bad) and sleep apnea. Waking up around 2 in the morning and tasting vomit in your mouth is extremely unpleasant. Luckily I take meds to help with that problem. Not eating before you go to bed will also help.

As always it is best to check with a doctor about any chronic cough or any kind of difficulty breathing.

Feel free to comment and please subscribe to my RSS Feed


  1. Sleep apnea and laryngopharyngeal reflux disease go hand in hand. In fact, there was a study a while ago that showed that aggressive acid reflux medications cured sleep apnea in about 25%. Obstruction literally suctions up stomach juices into your throat, which causes more swelling and irritation of the throat. More swelling then causes more obstructions. Laryngopharyngeal reflux disease can cause anything from chronic cough, hoarseness, lump sensation, tightness, burning, pain, post-nasal drip and difficulty swallowing, with no stomach problems whatsoever.

    It's also important to realize that acid reflux medications don't do anything for reflux. They only lower the acidity in the stomach, and do nothing to prevent what's coming up (less acidic juices, bile, enzymes, and bacteria).