Can you treat sleep apnea if the patient has asthma and allergies?

This question was asked in Staten Island, New York on 09/17/2012.
What are the steps to take when you have sleep apnea with severe allergies and asthma?

Doctors Answers (4)

Farhad Sigari, MD, FACS
Answered on: 9/20/2012

Absolutely! But the treatment involves taking the appropriate steps to alleviate the allergies so that the nasal obstruction does not interfere with the use of CPAP or any other intervention needed for your particular case.

Marjorie Yong, M.D.
Answered on: 9/20/2012

Get a sleep study and allergy testing/treatment.

Richard J. Schumann Jr., MD
Answered on: 9/20/2012

Yes, actually it is more important to treat it if you have allergies or asthma. Allergies affect the upper airway because of inflammation and irritation in the sinuses and resultant post nasal drip. Asthma is manifested by inflammation in the lower airways. Both entities can worsen the other as well as sleep apnea. All condition should be aggressively controlled to help treat the apnea.

J. Douglas Hudson, MD, DABSM
Answered on: 9/18/2012

Yes, sleep apnea can be treated if you have allergies and asthma. For the CPAP to be most effective, however, it is advised to first get treatment for your allergies and asthma. If the allergies are producing nasal congestion this will interfere with the flow of air from the CPAP mask to your airway. This ofteen makes it uncomfortable and difficult to continue with CPAP therapy. There are many treatments available. Asthma, on the other hand, can be treated making it easier to tolerate CPAP therapy. With asthma the flow of air is not restricted in the nasal passages but may be restricted in the lungs. Some asthma patients experience improvement in their condition when using their CPAP. The same can be said for some allergy sufferers who find that the pollen is filtered. There are special filters that can be attached to some CPAP units which often help reduce the pollen exposure.