Sunday, August 29, 2010

COPD and sleep apnea

It is well known that sleep apnea patients can also suffer from heart disease because of the blockage of the airway in the back of the throat. The supply of oxygen is constantly interrupted which bad on the heart. Another dangerous disorder called COPD also deals with blockage and it also has a connection to sleep apnea.

What is COPD?

COPD or chronic destructive pulmonary disease makes it difficult to breathe and gets worse over time. Coughing that brings up mucus along with a shortness of breath and chest pains are symptoms of COPD. As you can imagine smoking is one of the major causes of COPD along with environment pollution. Blockage of the airway with mucus and the thickening of the airway walls brings on the symptoms of COPD. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are considered 2 forms of COPD.

It is a major cause of death in the USA and usually occurs in middle age people. For more information on COPD go to National Institute on Health’s website.

How is COPD and sleep apnea connected?

Individuals with COPD also have problems sleeping due to excessive coughing and chest pains among other things. COPD patients also have a high rate of obstructive sleep apnea. The term overlap syndrome describes folks who have both copd and obstructive sleep apnea. For more information on the overlap syndrome go to RTmagazine.

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