Sleep Apnea a Risk Factor for PTSD?
- Posted on: Oct 28 2011
That was an observation made by one of the researchers after reviewing the results of a recent study conducted at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC.
PTSD stands for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Though the study was not designed to gather that type of data and cannot support that conclusion, the question remains. Why would 78% of the patients without traumatic brain injuries test positive for sleep apnea? Are soldiers being deployed with undiagnosed sleep apnea?
One would not be surprised at an increase of sleep disorders, especially insomnia, in head-injury victims… but sleep apnea? Maybe in a older, obese and out of shape population, but not in a presumably young, healthy and relatively fit population (similar to the soldiers).
The rate of sleep apnea in a healthy/fit population is accepted to be approximately 4% to 5%. Could sleep apnea more prevalent in our society than is commonly recognized?
As these heroes return from the battle fields and rejoin our society, it is incumbent upon physicians and sleep medicine specialists to screen them for undiagnosed sleep apnea. We can see many of the physical scars with which they return. It’s what we cannot see, obstructive sleep apnea, that will prevent them from the physical and mental healing necessary to be successful in starting their new lives at home.
Sleep apnea is the unseen destroyer of marriages, families, careers and the overall quality of life. Left untreated, it’s co-morbid medical conditions eventually take your life!
The internal combustion engine we call our body is no different than the one in your car. Without a sufficient supply of oxygen, neither well run well and will eventually stop running. Just put a dirty air filter in your car and see what happens!