Sleep Care

Gerd and Sleep Apnea

Gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known as GERD, is caused when stomach acid and bile rise up from the stomach into the esophagus. The stomach acid causes burning and irritation, which can be painful and uncomfortable. GERD is clinically diagnosed when acid reflux and heartburn

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occur at least twice a week for an extended period of time. Many people suffer from these symptoms and seek medical treatment for their discomfort. GERD can have a negative impact on your sleep. Most people who suffer from GERD experience frequent symptoms during the night. People who suffer from sleep apnea may notice that their heartburn and reflux are made worse by their apnea. During the respiratory events associated with sleep apnea, the negative pressure present in the airway makes it more likely that stomach acid will rise up into the esophagus, causing irritation. GERD can also have a negative effect on a person’s sleep apnea. When the acid rises into the esophagus, it becomes irritated and swollen, and this swelling makes it more likely that the airway will close during the night, increasing the intensity of the sleep apnea. If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea and GERD, or believe you may have them, it is important to seek treatment for both disorders. CPAP therapy has been shown to decrease the frequency and intensity of GERD, and successful management of GERD can help to improve the overall health of your airway.

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