can sleep apnea cause lung problems
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Can sleep apnea cause lung problems?


Sleep apnea has been linked to a wide variety of additional health problems. Sleep apnea might be the root cause of some of these health issues, while others are symptoms of the condition.

It is interesting to note that the heart and lungs are involved in many of these health issues. As a result, you could be asking whether or not sleep apnea can lead to lung difficulties.

You can find the answer for this as well as find the best way to treat sleep apnea by reading the article that is following this one.

What Are Lung Problems?

Lung problems are any disorders or diseases that affect the lungs. The lungs are a vital organ, responsible for taking in oxygen and expelling carbon dioxide. When they are not functioning properly, it can have a serious impact on a person’s health and obstructive sleep apnea.

There are a variety of lung problems that can occur, ranging from mild to severe. Some common lung problems include asthma, bronchitis, and pneumonia.

More serious lung problems include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung cancer, and pulmonary fibrosis.

Lung problems can be caused by a number of things, including infections, smoking, and exposure to environmental pollutants. 

Can Sleep Apnea Cause Lung Problems?

While classed as a sleep disorder, sleep apnea does contribute to or worsen lung diseases. Patients with obstructive sleep apnea exhibited greater lung elasticity recoil pressure, according to research that was published in BMC Pulmonary Medicine.  (Source: BMC Pulmonary Medicine)

When you breathe in and out, your lung tissues expand and contract because they possess an elastic characteristic that permits them to do so. Recoil pressure causes the lungs to snap back with too much force when there is greater lung flexibility.

This results in a vacuum effect, which contributes to the collapse of airways in patients with OSA. The resulting reduction in lung volume increases the risk or worsens the symptoms of some very serious lung problems.

Sleep apnea is a condition in which a person repeatedly stops breathing during sleep. This can cause sleep as well as health problems, including lung problems.

Lung problems associated with sleep apnea include:

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

This is the most common type of sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is occurs when the throat muscles relax and collapse during sleep, blocking the airway.

This can cause difficulty breathing and sleeping, it may lead to lung problems such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Central Sleep Apnea (CSA)

This type of sleep apnea occurs when the brain fails to send signals to the muscles that control breathing.

This can cause periods of shallow or paused breathing, which can lead to low oxygen levels in high blood pressure and, over time, to lung problems such as pulmonary hypertension and cause sleep apnea.


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, more commonly referred to as COPD, is an umbrella term that describes a range of disorders that make it difficult to breathe and sleep. 

This problem occurs when the airways become obstructed or too narrow. Inflammation in the internal structures or injury to the air sacs in the lungs are typically the root causes of this condition.

The most common causes of this injury are secondhand smoke and contaminants in the air.

According to the findings of a study that was published in the journal Lung health, up to 66 percent of those who have COPD also have sleep apnea. whereas only about twenty percent of those who have sleep apnea also have the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). (Source: National Library Medicine)

This condition is referred to as “overlap syndrome” by medical professionals. Patients who suffer from COPD are at a higher risk of having a heart attack and sleep apnea. 

When combined with sleep apnea, this condition, if left untreated, can result in high blood pressure, irregular heart rhythms, heart failure, and stroke.

Sadly, there is now no treatment that will reverse the effects of COPD, and the condition often gets worse with time. However, treatment and the utilization of sleep apnea therapy do result in an improvement of symptoms.

If you have sleep apnea, it is important to seek treatment. Untreated sleep apnea can cause a number of health problems, including lung problems.


A person who suffers from asthma has a condition in which their airways are unusually sensitive. When an individual is exposed to a trigger, their airways become inflamed and enlarged, which limits the amount of air that can pass through their lungs.

Because of this inflammation, the lungs produce an increased amount of mucus, which causes some breathing problems.

Both sleep apnea and asthma are extremely common illnesses, and they appear to exacerbate one another.

7 Ways To Treat Sleep Apnea 

1. Get A Good Night’s Sleep

Sleep is important for overall health, and it’s especially important if you have sleep apnea. Make sure to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep every night. If you have sleep apnea, you may need to sleep with a CPAP machine.

2. Avoid Alcohol

Alcohol can make sleep apnea worse, so it’s best to avoid it altogether. If you do drink, make sure to do so in moderation.  

Sleep apnea is a condition in which a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep. Alcohol can make sleep apnea worse by causing the muscles in the throat to relax.

This can block the airway and make it difficult to breathe. If you drink alcohol, it’s best to do so in moderation and help to reduce sleep apnea. 

3. Quit Smoking

Smoking is one of the worst things you can do for sleep apnea. If you smoke, it will make it harder for you to breathe at night.

This can make your sleep apnea worse and make it harder for you to get a good night’s sleep. Quitting smoking is the best thing you can do for your sleep apnea and your overall health.

4. Lose Weight

If you are overweight, you may have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is when you stop breathing for short periods of time during sleep.

This can happen if your airway is blocked by extra weight around your neck. Losing weight can help reduce sleep apnea. Talk to your doctor about a weight loss plan that’s right for you.

5. Exercise

Exercise can help improve your breathing and reduce sleep apnea. Try to get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week.  Exercise is important for many reasons. It can also help you to lose weight, which can also help reduce sleep apnea.

6. Sleep On Your Side

Sleeping on your side can help reduce sleep apnea. If you usually sleep on your back, try propping yourself up with pillows or sleeping in a recliner.

7. See Your Doctor

If you’re still having trouble with sleep apnea, see your doctor. He or she can help you find the best treatment for your individual situation and have a good method to make better sleep and reduce sleep apnea. 


The above article provides information on the question of whether sleep apnea causes lung problems as well as solutions to help you reduce sleep problems.

We hope the above article will be of help to you and improve your sleep as well as reduce sleep apnea.

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