Sleep Apnea and COVID-19
Submitted by New Jersey Snoring Solutions on Wed 02/17/2021 - 09:00
COVID-19 has caused uncharted disruption to everyone’s lives, including those with obstructive sleep apnea. If you have sleep apnea, you probably have questions about how the virus affects your health and medical care. Dr. Ivan Stein of New Jersey Sleep Apnea Solutions is here to be a resource for you and help you stay healthy in the midst of COVID-19. Read on as he shares what you should know.
Am I more vulnerable to getting COVID-19 if I have sleep apnea?
Currently there is no data that shows a direct relationship between obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and COVID-19. However, people with OSA are generally at a higher risk of COVID-19 than those without OSA because they are more likely to be older. Furthermore, many OSA patients have comorbidities, or other conditions such as heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and respiratory illnesses, that make them more vulnerable to the virus than healthy individuals.
Is it safe for me to wear a mask in public if I have OSA?
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine encourages you to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) safety guidelines for protecting yourself from the virus. This includes wearing a face covering in public and maintaining physical distance from others.
Should I continue seeing my sleep specialist during COVID-19?
If possible, do not avoid or delay medical care for OSA; doing so may increase your risk of complications from the sleep disorder.
It is understandable you may have concerns about COVID-19 transmission in health care settings. The best thing to do is talk to your medical team about their compliance with CDC safety guidelines and mandates from state and local health departments.
You can also inquire about telemedicine options if you do not feel comfortable seeing your sleep specialist in person. You may be able to receive the medical attention you need via a phone call or video chat with your provider.
Is it safe to undergo a sleep study during the COVID-19 outbreak?
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine’s COVID-19 task force, there are no known COVID-19 outbreaks linked to sleep centers. The task force offers a list of guidelines for sleep centers to follow to promote patient and employee safety during in-laboratory tests. Strategies include enhanced cleaning and sanitization protocols, using single-use, disposable devices and/or components and screening patients and employees for COVID-19 symptoms.
If you have an in-laboratory sleep study scheduled and are concerned about your safety, contact the sleep center and ask what practices they have in place to promote your safety. You could also inquire about using a home sleep apnea test, which are available through some sleep centers.
If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have tested positive for the virus, postpone any in-laboratory tests.
Contact Us With Questions
For answers to other questions about COVID-19 and OSA, please call or email our office today.