Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Lymphedema
Did You Know…
In a study conducted by Roux, Villemur & et al., 74% of their subjects (whom all had Lymphedema) also presented with Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a common condition in which one experiences abnormal breathing patterns and actually stops breathing multiple times while they are asleep. This happens due to soft tissue collapsing in the back of the throat. This causes a lot of stress on the heart and when left untreated can lead to many serious complications.
Signs and Symptoms
People with Obstructive Sleep Apnea commonly present with the following signs– gasping for air and snoring. The most common symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea include– fatigue, dry mouth, decreased attention, irritability and more.
It has been shown that in Lymphedema patients, fluid accumulates at night– sometimes in areas which can obstruct their airway. This pattern occurs most frequently in lower extremity Lymphedema patients.
Testing and Treatment
If you or someone you know is presenting signs of Obstructive Sleep Apnea or is at risk of developing Obstructive Sleep Apnea, there are sleep studies which can be done to diagnose Obstructive Sleep Apnea and other sleep disorders.
Treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a combination of lifestyle changes and a therapy called Positive Airway Pressure in which a machine delivers air pressure through your nose and sometimes the mouth. The most common type of Positive Airway Pressure device is a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) which provides continuous air pressure– helping the airway passages to stay open.