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There is no evidence linking sleep apnea with coronavirus risk. However, people who have sleep apnea often share conditions that create a higher risk for severe illness from the coronavirus, which includes:

  • Those who are 65 years of age or older
  • Those who have serious underlying medical conditions. These include common conditions associated with sleep apnea:
  •                 – Hypertension
                    – Serious heart conditions
                    – Severe obesity with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher
                    – Diabetes
  • Those who have a medical disorder or take a medication that weakens the immune system.

But what about the risk associated with using CPAP to treat your obstructive sleep apnea?

There is some concern that using CPAP could spread the virus through the exhalation port, which allows carbon dioxide to escape from your mask. This port also may release smaller virus-containing particles as an “aerosol,” which can remain suspended in the air for a few hours. It’s possible that your bed partner could inhale these virus particles. Therefore, it is important to sleep alone by isolating yourself in a separate bedroom. You can continue to use CPAP while sleeping in this recovery room.
If you have the coronavirus, you may be able to spread it to others before you have symptoms. Even if you don’t have symptoms of the coronavirus, you may want to sleep and use CPAP in a separate bedroom during this public health emergency. — from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine website Q&A regarding CPAP COVID-19 risk.

I do not recommend discontinuing CPAP therapy for the treatment of your obstructive sleep apnea, but you may be a candidate for Oral Appliance Therapy if you have concerns about the safety of using CPAP during this public health emergency. Ask your medical provider if Oral Appliance Therapy is a suitable alternative treatment for your sleep apnea.

Contact my office for a free consultation to discuss oral appliance therapy for the treatment of your obstructive sleep apnea.