Firefighters, Sleep Apnea and COVID-19 – Their Relation to You

April 13, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — sleepsolutionstopeka @ 6:56 pm
man resting with aid of oral sleep appliance in Topeka

A 2014 article published by Science Daily reported that a total of 37.2% of firefighters were found to have some form of sleep disorder, one of which being obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The condition, which causes frequent interruptions in breathing throughout the night that triggers breaks in sleep, leaves those suffering from it feeling tired and lethargic throughout the day. The most common way of treating the condition is with a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine, but with the COVID-19 pandemic still surging ahead, the Windsor Professional Firefighters Association of Canada instructed members who use the machines to only do so at home. Read on to find out why the usage of an oral sleep appliance in Topeka may be a better option. Furthermore, you’ll discover how this can impact your health.

How a CPAP Machine Works

A CPAP machine consists of a facial mask, tube and base unit that forces air into the throat to prevent bouts of apnea. As pertaining to COVID-19, medical professionals have discovered that the machine can aerosolize the virus when a person who is infected exhales. Thus, anyone in the room with a firefighter using the device is at an increased risk of contracting COVID-19.

Because OSA has been linked to other health problems like stroke, heart disease and liver dysfunction, it’s of the utmost importance that it be treated. Thus, firefighters and the general public need an effective yet safer alternative.

The Difference That an Oral Appliance Makes

The alternative to a CPAP machine is a custom oral appliance. The process of receiving one starts with a sleep dentist designing the device to fit perfectly into the mouth. It works by gently shifting your jaw and/or tongue to reduce or eliminate airway closure, and to prevent frequent stops in breathing. Therefore, patients are able to feel rejuvenated the next day!

Getting the Help You Need

The warning signs of OSA should never be ignored. Otherwise, you can place your overall wellness in jeopardy. Before you receive therapy, though, you need to know what symptoms to be on the lookout for:

  • Decline in libido
  • Daytime drowsiness
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Frequent and loud snoring
  • Gasping sounds while sleeping
  • Frequent mood swings and bouts of depression

By taking action and seeking sleep apnea treatment in Topeka with an oral appliance, you can look forward to more restful nights, better comfort, no noise and simple usage. Better yet, if you’re unknowingly carrying the COVID-19 virus, you’ll be less likely to transmit it to your loved ones.

About the Author

Dr. Michael E. Michel earned his dental degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry. With nearly 40 years of experience in the dental field, he has become a trusted fixture in the Topeka area. Not one to rest on his laurels, Dr. Michel has remained committed to learning, taking countless hours of continued education throughout the years. He treats sleep apnea at Sleep Solutions, and he can be reached for more information through his website.

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