With COVID-19 making its way through the nation, we are seeing more and more long-term effects in individuals who have tested positive. Sleep apnea is one link with the novel Coronavirus, waving a red flag for individuals already living with sleep apnea. 

Understanding sleep apnea

To better understand the risk factors of COVID-19 with sleep apnea, it is important to first define sleep apnea. Sleep apnea occurs when your breathing stops and starts repeatedly throughout a night’s sleep. This disorder is not taken lightly, and combined with a serious and new virus such as COVID-19, doctors are warning all patients to take extra precautions in protecting themselves.

Research in Finland

In a recent study conducted in Finland, doctors noticed a correlation with sleep apnea and COVID-19. “More than 1 in 4 patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) admitted to the hospital during the first wave of the pandemic in Finland were found to have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).” 

This is crucial information for doctors across the globe as it reveals yet another at-risk population. Understanding this study will help future patients with sleep apnea or other sleep related disorders. 

What does this research mean?

Studying this connection between sleep apnea and COVID-19 was definitely extensive and new due to the novelty of the virus. In this particular study, 29% of patients were already diagnosed with OSA, however only 3.1% of that population were treating their condition. This proves to be detrimental to the health of sleep apnea patients diagnosed with COVID-19. 

After conducting extensive research, the levels of CRP and PCT were higher in patients eventually transferred to critical care, compared to those who were not. This is enough data to prove that there is indeed a direct link between COVID-19 and sleep apnea. 

Moving forward with Sleep Apnea and COVID-19

With this research, we now know that those with sleep apnea are at a greater risk of developing a severe case of COVID-19 if exposed. Treating your sleep apnea is of even greater importance during this unprecedented time. This research shows another group at-risk for developing COVID-19. 

Contact us at AZ Sleep & TMJ Solutions to learn more about sleep apnea and what treatment might work for you.