Sleep Apnea and Acid Reflux

Sleep Apnea Treatment Houston

The Connection Between Acid Reflux and Sleep Apnea

Understanding the Relationship

The relationship between acid reflux (GERD) and sleep apnea is complex and multifaceted. Studies have shown that individuals with sleep apnea are more likely to experience acid reflux symptoms, and vice versa.

During episodes of sleep apnea, the upper airway becomes blocked, leading to pauses in breathing and drops in blood oxygen levels. These interruptions in breathing can trigger changes in intra-abdominal pressure, causing stomach acid to reflux into the esophagus and throat.

Conversely, acid reflux can exacerbate sleep apnea symptoms by causing discomfort and irritation in the throat, leading to frequent awakenings and disrupted sleep patterns.

Seeking Treatment for Acid Reflux and Sleep Apnea
If you are experiencing symptoms of both acid reflux and sleep apnea, seeking treatment is essential. Contact Sleep Houston today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Schleicher and take the first step toward better sleep and improved overall health.


What are sleep apnea and acid reflux?

Sleep apnea is a disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. This can lead to fragmented sleep, daytime fatigue, and a higher risk of heart disease and other health problems. Acid reflux, or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), occurs when stomach acid frequently flows back into the tube connecting your mouth and stomach (esophagus). This can irritate the lining of the esophagus and lead to complications like esophageal damage.

Understanding and managing the relationship between sleep apnea and acid reflux is essential for improving sleep quality and overall health. With the right treatment and lifestyle changes, patients can mitigate the effects of these conditions.

What is the link between sleep apnea and acid reflux?

There is a bi-directional relationship between sleep apnea and acid reflux. The pressure changes in the chest and abdomen during apneic events in sleep apnea can cause acid to be sucked into the esophagus, leading to reflux. Conversely, acid reflux can cause spasms in the larynx, which can lead to awakenings and fragmented sleep, thus exacerbating sleep apnea.

How can sleep apnea and acid reflux affect your health?

If not addressed properly, these conditions can have serious consequences. Sleep apnea can lead to chronic fatigue, cardiovascular problems, and other severe health issues. Acid reflux can cause chronic sore throat, hoarseness, and even increase the risk of esophageal cancer.

How are sleep apnea and acid reflux diagnosed?

Diagnosis of sleep apnea typically requires a sleep study, known as a polysomnogram, which records various body functions during sleep. Acid reflux is often diagnosed based on symptoms, but may require an upper endoscopy or a pH monitoring test for confirmation.

What are my treatment options for acid reflux and sleep apnea? Will I need to take medication?

For sleep apnea, treatments may include lifestyle changes, including weight loss and avoiding alcohol before bedtime, using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, or undergoing surgery in severe cases. For acid reflux, treatment can include dietary changes, medications to reduce stomach acid, and, in severe cases, surgery to tighten the valve between the stomach and esophagus.

What lifestyle changes should I make as I navigate sleep apnea?

Managing both conditions can be enhanced through lifestyle modifications. These may include maintaining a stable, healthy weight, sleeping on your left side to minimize acid exposure to the esophagus, avoiding foods and drinks that trigger reflux, and establishing a regular sleep routine.

How do I find a sleep specialist in Houston, TX?

Finding a healthcare provider who specializes in sleep apnea and acid reflux is critical for comprehensive care. In Houston, TX, patients can seek specialists who are knowledgeable about the interplay between these conditions and can offer personalized treatment plans.

If you're in Houston and looking for expert care for sleep apnea and acid reflux, reach out to our local specialists at 713-828-8587 who can guide you through the process of diagnosis and treatment. The team at Sleep Houston is eager to help you get your health on track.

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