Sleep Apnea Treatment Centers of America Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Sleep Apnea

psdWhen most of us think about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), we often make the association with Vietnam or other wars and their veterans. But the disorder can actually develop after any horrifying event. And you do not have to be the one who experienced the terror. Even if you are a witness, you can develop post-traumatic stress disorder.

Current statistics claim that more than 7.7 million adults in the United States suffer from post traumatic stress disorder. Women are more likely to develop the disorder than men, and it can occur at any age.

Events that can cause post-traumatic stress disorder are the following:

  • Car, plane or train accidents
  • Violent crime such as rape, kidnapping or armed robbery
  • Natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes or tornadoes

What Are Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms?

When a person is involved or experiences a harrowing event, he or she gets an adrenaline rush. This hormone allows the individual to address the fear in an appropriate manner. Basically, this person can either run or fight. With post-traumatic stress disorder, he or she experiences fear when no threat or trauma is present.

Post-traumatic stress disorder sufferers can have symptoms that range from:

  • Re-experiencing the original trauma
  • Avoidance of the reminders associated with the triggering event
  • Hyper-emotional examples such as anxiety, being stressed out and developing sleep problems

S can start shortly after the traumatic event, last a few weeks and then disappear. But they can also begin months or years later and then never go away.

Connection between Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Obstructive Sleep Apnea

People with post-traumatic stress disorder can be more susceptible to anxiety disorders. In turn, some research studies have discovered a relationship between a number of anxiety disorders and sleep apnea. So is there a connection between post traumatic stress disorder and sleep apnea? One must first understand the condition. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is defined as a stoppage of breathing throughout the course of a night’s sleep due to an obstruction. The pauses in breath can be a short as a few seconds to as long as minutes, and occur from 5 to over 30 times within any given hour during a night of sleep.

There is some thought that both post-traumatic stress disorder and sleep apnea impact the limbic system, which governs the body’s response to releasing adrenaline and other hormones for the “fight  or flight” response.

In addition, a recent study conducted at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai found another link between post-traumatic stress disorder and sleep apnea. The group evaluated 9/11 first responders who had inhaled large amounts of particulate matter. Their results discovered an increased risk of OSA and post traumatic stress disorder, which put these individuals at a higher risk for heart disease.

If you have been wondering whether or not post-traumatic stress disorder might be affecting or an indication of sleep apnea, contact one of our medical concierges today at 1-855-863-4537 or schedule a free consultation when it’s convenient for you.