Sunday, June 10, 2012

Cough medicine and sleep apnea

Falling asleep is never easy if you have sleep apnea that isn’t being treated. You wake up constantly throughout the night due to the blockage at the back of your throat that stops your breathing, which in turn makes you wake up.  What can possibly be worse than that is when you have a cold or any type of congestion problem.  This week I had a bad cough and sinus infection that seems at its worse during the night. I went to the doctor and he prescribed an antibiotic and cough medicine.

As you probably have heard or read about, any medication that makes you drowsy such as sleeping pills is a bad idea for those suffering from sleep apnea. In fact it makes the sleep apnea only worse because it relaxes the muscles in the back of throat which causes greater blockage and more apnea occurrences.  Some cough medicines do have codeine in them (mine did) which causes drowsiness.

So what do you do? Unfortunately my cough was getting the best of me so I decided to try the cough medicine and it did seem to help somewhat with the cough.   I was surprised and happy that the cough medicine really didn’t have that much of an impact on my sleep apnea. Sure it make  me tired but I don’t that I woke up any more times than I usually do during the night.

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