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Wagamaga OP t1_jdzfco0 wrote

Researchers found that among nearly 100 teens who underwent brain scans, those with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) tended to have thinner tissue at the brain's surface, and some signs of inflammation in a brain area key to memory and learning.

Exactly what those brain structure differences mean is not yet clear, said senior researcher Dr. Raanan Arens, chief of respiratory and sleep medicine at Children's Hospital at Montefiore in New York City.

But the findings -- recently published in the journal Sleep -- do suggest that OSA can lead to observable alterations in kids' brains.

Studies estimate that anywhere from 1% to 5% of children have obstructive sleep apnea, a disorder in which tissues in the throat constrict during sleep, causing repeated stops and starts in breathing. Loud snoring is the most obvious symptom, but daytime sleepiness and attention problems are also red flags.


[deleted] t1_jdzz3d7 wrote

Is this a result of low oxygen levels, or some other issue?


Foxsayy t1_je00n9o wrote

Did they check whether treating the sleep Apnea had any effect?


Individual-Ad-6624 t1_je0599n wrote

There is a similar condition involving the nose called Rhinitis.,and%20impaired%20quality%20of%20life


BardTheBoatman t1_je0bjyw wrote

Relatively well known that sleep apnea can cause permanent damage to grey matter in the brain and shortening of telomeres. Add this to the list of detrimental effects. Luckily my treatment worked, but my heart goes out to the poor souls that suffer with the disease especially those that aren’t overweight.


IdesOfMarchCometh t1_je0djjo wrote

When i got mty CPAP, there were 100 people in the room receiving theirs as well. Most were obese but I've always been skinny. A doctor announced that everyone needs to lose weight. I can't really do that. It has dramatically improved my life since and my career and personal life soared in my mid 30s. It changed my life but i had a bunch of questions. Why didn't I address this sooner. And why did i have it if I'm not overweight? I dug in and it turns out for most people who aren't overwhelmed with sleep apnea, sleep apnea is genetic. I had my brother tested and he has sleep apnea. Father refuses to get tested. I'm the only one in the family treated for it.

Looking back I remember friends talking about me, saying i had brain damage, they also hit me with pillows when i snored.... Little did everyone know.


LameJazzHands t1_je0dq72 wrote

You don’t have to snore to have sleep apnea. I have it and don’t snore. I have the “low arousal threshold” subtype. I don’t actually have many periods where I stop breathing — I have micro-awakenings whenever there is some resistance. Basically, I wake up before my breathing has a chance to stop.

So, sleep disordered breathing without snoring.


BardTheBoatman t1_je0ep8o wrote

Possibly a dumb question here but have you been to a doctor to have your nose/sinuses/throat examined? In underweight to normal weight folks, the soft tissues responsible for constricting the airway can sometimes be removed with surgery.


Cyathem t1_je0f985 wrote

Just had surgery to correct my OSA two months ago, at 31 years old. It's also REALLY bad for your heart. Glad to hear that the damage might be reversible. Wish I could have had the surgery sooner but US healthcare be like $$$.


chiisana t1_je0fva0 wrote

I’m underweight and have a pretty severe case with over 30 events per hour. Using the machine brings it down to sub 10 (often sub 5), but it’s been more than a year and I still unconsciously remove the mask each night. Sounds like your treatment is very successful, any tips on keeping it on?


InThisBoatTogether t1_je0giyd wrote

My dad never got tested either, but we're all positive he had sleep apnea pretty much forever. He was just convinced he didn't want the hassle of a CPAP. His heart stopped and he died... He was only 54. We have no way to know if it was related but I strongly suspect it was a factor. Last time my brother and I saw him my brother tried to convince him of the danger and he just shot it down. I hope your father will listen to you soon!


Andire t1_je0k0md wrote

Could be. Your brain also goes through a ["wash cycle"](,occurs%20primarily%20during%20deep%20sleep.) while you sleep that gets rid of toxins and waste products. But only during deep sleep, so it's possible not having access to consistent deep sleep would lead to inflammation and either degradation or slower development of the outer brain tissue that's mostly in contact with the fluids being "cleaned". There was a really cool video/gif of a scan that captured this process, so I'll see if I can find it.

Edit: I found it! Attached to an article from NIH - "Discovering the Brain’s Nightly “Rinse Cycle”".


SlowCrates t1_je0k9qq wrote

I would not be surprised to discover that the inability to sleep is the likely reason for the inflammation, and not the other way around. And that anxiety, post traumatic stress, or other psychological issues are the reason for the lack of sleep.

But of course these things sound horribly cyclical. I can't imagine that having trouble learning or remembering things will help you pull out of whatever situation is ailing you.


Andire t1_je0l531 wrote

This article specifically talks about allergic rhinitis, which is rhinitis, or nose inflammation, specifically caused by allergies. It's real talk, I have it myself sadly and have done sleep studies thinking it was sleep apnea, but apparently sleep apnea only counts for airway obstructions in your throat, not your nose. So there's no treatment for me besides surgery and hoping for the best.


SOwED t1_je0miri wrote

I would expect it to be high CO2 levels in the blood. Your SpO2 gets back to normal after not too long once you're awake and breathing normally, but CO2 levels remain elevated and reach a steady state level that is abnormally high.

I remember seeing a post here about room ventilation in schools and students performing better with a window open because of CO2 levels as well.


SOwED t1_je0mpot wrote

Brutal. I have both of them and have had a surgery for the nose. It's not the worst recovery, and I still breathe much better through my nose than I ever did before.


Cyathem t1_je0n0lu wrote

I had a deviated septum corrected and they removed some tissue in my frontal sinus to open space. My OSA was partially caused by a chronic sinus inflammation due to low airflow in some areas.


SOwED t1_je0n731 wrote

No doubt it is under diagnosed. It has long been viewed as a thing obese people and elderly people have, so single people who don't have someone in bed with them telling them "hey you snore but you also like stopped breathing for a bit" are likely to attribute their fatigue and brain fog to anything but sleep apnea.


Cyathem t1_je0n7ts wrote

I moved to Germany and had the surgery here. I only paid a bit for the hospital stay and a bit for the medicine from the pharmacy. Maybe €30-50 total. Everything else was covered by insurance because it was prescribed as "curative" treatment by my ENT.


[deleted] t1_je0o0ek wrote

Hmmm. So I’ve been told I snore, and always have. I do apparently stop breathing at times. I got an Apple watch to monitor my oxygen levels and they don’t go below 90 when I sleep. But it may be high co2 that is the worry? Which the watch doesn’t test obviously. Great. I’m doomed. Also; breath holding as in swimming or diving, that could be doing brain damage?


Queasy-Bite-7514 t1_je0of7g wrote

How many adolescents have sleep apnea? If they do it’s likely correlated with a host of other risk factors for neurological changes which I hope were controlled for. I can’t access the whole article. I’m guessing with a random sample of 100 adolescents you’re not gonna find many with sleep apnea.


ArmyScienceNerd t1_je0px88 wrote

Breath training can alleviate or eliminate sleep apnea. Reading a book called "breath" by James Nestor and its incredible how our actual skulls have changed as a result of improper breathing and chewing soft food. Something to look into if you struggle with any pulmonary disorder.


GoGoGadge7 t1_je0q33f wrote

Let’s keep starting school at 5:30 AM though.


ZiltoidTheOmniscient t1_je0q95k wrote

I would like to know if I have something like this but maybe because of inflammation? My family complains about my constant loud snoring. I've been to several specialists but they say because I'm a thin, active young woman, I'm not at risk for sleep apnea and it looks like I just have a small nasal passageway. I'm so exhausted that I need to rest during my lunches and after work and I still sleep a solid 8 hours a day. I've got a terrible memory to the point where it's actually a diagnosed issue but they don't know the cause. I'm desperate for answers and a solution :(


Eelwithzeal t1_je0qam6 wrote

Get a sleep study done. I did and only got 5 hrs of sleep because they’re always waking you up to adjust your mask and air pressure. Swear to God it felt like I slept for 12 hours. I’ve never felt more alert in my life without any caffeine.

I’m less anxious during the day. I have less nightmares. My cpap changed my life.


skudgee t1_je0ql4u wrote

I have a myriad of problems with my respiratory system

  • Severe central sleep apnea (I even lost 6 stone, 80 lb for Americans and I still have severe central sleep apnea)
  • Deviated septum
  • Nasal polyps
  • Asthma
  • Loads of other symptoms because I’m a mouth breather, like inflamed gums etc.

I’m trying to at least get surgery for my deviated septum and nasal polyps to relieve some of the pressure surrounding my nasal passages. How did you find it after your surgery?


ZiltoidTheOmniscient t1_je0qyk7 wrote

I was told that I also have inflamed tissue but the doctor said there's nothing that can be done except for a possible wait list for several years for surgery and even then, it might not solve the issue. I snore loudly, my boyfriend comments on it almost daily. I'm so exhausted daily and have such a bad memory that I had a test done and it's a diagnosed disability. Maybe I should look into other countries who can do the surgery sooner, if it changed your life? I'm desperate for relief


JacenGraff t1_je0r2pa wrote

My understanding is that central apneas are caused by the brain, rather than obstructive apneas which are caused by tissue. Could be wrong, but that's what my sleep specialist told me when I was getting checked out. So weight wouldn't have anything to do with central apneas.


skudgee t1_je0rlxy wrote

You’re correct. Less than 1% of the general population have severe central sleep apnea (yay to been part of the exclusive club). But my specialist said that it might be worth trying to lose weight to bring other health benefits to my life.

I was low-key praying that I was misdiagnosed with central and I had obstructive instead, but nope.


glintings t1_je0scpi wrote

you might need jaw surgery. my partner just had it and it increased her airway by 100%

what's happening is that (due to using pacifiers as babies, softer processed food diets and a few other things) modern jaws are frequently malformed in their growth in a way that makes the airway constricted.

so you could be thin, healthy and fit, but because of a malformed jaw, your airway just isn't big enough for you to breathe as comfortably as you should, and this is exacerbated when you're sleeping.


TragicNut t1_je0skxr wrote

Try different masks? If you're physically uncomfortable, you're more likely to remove it. Also, is your pillow pushing your mask against your face?

I've found that I'm most comfortable with a nasal cradle that also covers my mouth (resmed f30i.) I don't really want something pushing into my nose (nasal pillows) or resting on the bridge so that narrowed it down a lot for me. I'd prefer a simple nasal cradle (like the n30i) but my lips don't stay sealed when I sleep so I need the mouth coverage or I end up dumping a ton of air out of my mouth.


IdesOfMarchCometh t1_je0txwb wrote

I have Kaiser. They don't do that, they give you a CPAP and forget about you. Their official stance is the surgery doesn't help, though they are all about saving costs.. I do have a pretty bad deviated septum. Maybe I'll switch providers and find someone who will address that or other issues i might have.


IdesOfMarchCometh t1_je0uf90 wrote

Like someone else wrote, try another mask. I tried a bunch but settled on the dream ware nasal pillow. Seems to work very well. Also i would avoid CPAPs from Philips assuming they haven't improved from the system one.


DeNoodle t1_je0vlpe wrote

Anecdote: My GF snores hella loud, she is also dumb as a box of rocks and can't remember what happened 5 minutes ago, but she would fight a gorilla for me and is a really good cook, so its all good.


brihone t1_je11peg wrote

I was struggling with the same issue over the last year. Some nights I'd wake up with it on, but most nights I'd pull it off after maybe 3 or 4 hours. Sometimes less. Tried several different masks. None are significantly more comfortable.

Not sure if this applies to you at all, but I quit drinking almost entirely and started hitting the gym regularly and it doesn't seem to be a problem anymore.

The mask is still uncomfortable. I don't think it'll ever be truly comfortable. But I guess I sleep deeply enough now that I don't get into that half awake place and take it off.

I had been drinking pretty regularly. Not always a lot, but pretty much one or two every night with occasional big nights.

I'm feeling more rested, but that could be a result of the exercise, less drinking or more CPAP consistency. Probably a combo of all 3.


ObeyCoffeeDrinkSatan t1_je14yg7 wrote

This is weird. Whenever antidepressants kick in, for a couple of days I'll wake up and feel like my brain has been deep cleaned. Like it was filled with a cleaning fluid overnight. Had no idea it was actually a thing.


alleks88 t1_je152kq wrote

Got CPAP 6 weeks ago, after falling asleep even at a red light. I always had bad sleep according to my girlfriend, but it got so worse in the last few months... I am so happy now, my sleep improved dramatically.
For me it did not get better, but worse when I started losing weight a few months ago. Maybe because I am also training for powerlifting and strongman and my neck muscles got also bigger.


tnew12 t1_je16ue4 wrote

Ugh, tell me about it. I was diagnosed at 25 with a BMI of 22. My apnea went from mild to severe after getting teeth removed for braces at 29. I guess I add that to my list of how my body betrayed me.

My 2yo daughter snores loud like me, so its just a matter of time


glintings t1_je183iz wrote

pretty much yeah, or if you have an orthodontist, they can refer too.

you're looking for a maxillofacial surgeon. it is an intense surgery. in our case she had her upper jaw bone broken into three and rearranged with metal plates, her bottom jaw in two.

and recovery is not easy. it's been a month on a liquid diet, and now soft foods.

but pretty much everyone who's done it is really glad they did. check out /r/jawsurgery


Revlis-TK421 t1_je1aycj wrote

Seconding going to get a sleep study. The hassle of a CPAP is completely worth it if you have sleep apnea. That first week of sleep after getting used to the mask is glorious. You don't realize how exhausted and tired you are through the day if you aren't sleeping well due to apnea.

And unless you are spending man hours a day, every day, holding your breath for extended periods of time then no, you shouldn't be doing any quantifiable damage.


lakuma t1_je1c4mi wrote

For those who are interested, here are two procedures with minimal invasiveness that can be done in the doctor's office.



I've only had the RhinAer procedure which helped but didn't fix my specific issue. I might try the ClariFix to see if it will help with the inflammation every single night.


odd-42 t1_je1hbmh wrote

And daytime symptoms of ADHD probably


chiisana t1_je1l0no wrote

I tried a couple. The one they originally gave me was terrible — they’re like air lances going up my nose haha. I’m using F&P Eson2 now and am able to keep 3-5hrs depending how deep I sleep (melatonin + L-Theanine helps a little).


Rosieforthewin t1_je1l1nu wrote

You left out a critical point of the study: "We examined whether OSA in overweight and obese adolescent children is associated with cortical thickness and hippocampal structure."

The study group was overweight teens, not all teens.


chiisana t1_je1l7ye wrote

Thanks for this. I’m using F&P Eson2 right now. The other one they gave me originally felt like having air lances going up my nose and was totally unbearable. I’ll try a full face with mouth one next time I get new mask!


TragicNut t1_je1q5n9 wrote

Sadly, this is one of those things that varies hugely from person to person. I lucked out and found one I like on the second try, one of my friends took 4 tries to find one for her.


Aggravating-Prize-73 t1_je1vd9x wrote

Weight gain/health changes/age all can play a part. Also if you still have your tonsils and adenoids those can cause an obstruction in your air passageways. See a doctor and get a referral for bother sleep study to at least rule sleep apnea out. Or if it is sleep apnea they can discuss a treatment plan with you.


Active_Remove1617 t1_je1wmtx wrote

I don’t rate the Apple Watch oxygen monitoring. It only samples about 10 times in a single nightly sleep period. I sometimes wear an oxygen monitor and it never correlates with the watch. I’m on CPAP too.


vinlo t1_je1zmrn wrote

I've had OSA since probably 13. I'm 33. I just had a surgery to correct my deviated septum, and that plus a dental sleep appliance ensures that I can breathe at night, but I still feel I have a much lower "energy limit" than I otherwise should have (i.e. even good sleep only recharges my batteries to 80% at best.)

I wonder if that's the result of permanent brain damage from 20 years of sleep apnea


KingKongAintGotShitt t1_je2420s wrote

Unfortunately I had jaw surgery to fix my sleep apnea and it didn’t really seem to help much. It’s not a cure-all and it does carry some very serious side effects that I’m worried about. It’s a last resort option. I only decided to take the risk since I couldn’t use CPAP because I would wake up with severe abdominal pain from air filling my stomach. I guess this was caused by a faulty esophageal sphincter that would open when using the CPAP.


KingKongAintGotShitt t1_je24tz5 wrote

I had jaw surgery to fix my sleep apnea a couple years ago and it didn’t help me. So in my case there may be something else at play. There are other surgeries that may help in your case. Also CPAP is great if it works for you. Unfortunately it caused me a lot of issues, which is why I tried the surgery. If you want any advice feel free to send me a message. I have a routine right now that has definitely helped but it’s not perfect.


KingKongAintGotShitt t1_je27pbx wrote

That’s exactly what the sleep physicians said to me after I came back after my jaw surgery didn’t work. “I could have told you that wouldn’t work. Why don’t you try a different sleep apnea device for central sleep apnea?” Ya that didn’t work for me just like the other CPAP because my esophageal sphincter kept opening due to the pressure from the air causing severe abdominal pain. Now I play a didgeridoo every night and it does seem to help a bit but its not a perfect solution. I might go to an ear nose and throat doctor to see if nasal inflammation is the culprit.


KingKongAintGotShitt t1_je28jfb wrote

Did you have any abdominal pain after wearing the CPAP? I’d wake up, ripping the mask off my face and have abdominal pain similar to how food poisoning feels. Just a constant pain that wasn’t sharp, but hurt pretty bad.


iamfondofpigs t1_je2ieqn wrote

Consult Table 1 for a huge list of studies on this matter.

TNF-α serum concentrations are used to track inflammation.

Rightmost column indicates whether a study found link between sleep apnea and inflammation.

"Effect of Tx" column indicates whether a study checked for effect of sleep apnea treatment on inflammation, and if it did, what was the result.


Lizgandp t1_je31uy5 wrote

Look into UARS, sometimes called “skinny women sleep apnea.” And yes get a sleep study, but know that it may present differently on the study than obstructive sleep apnea. I would also consider looking into myofuntional therapy, it has been shown to improve the effectiveness of c pap machines, and is non-invasive. As a last resort people often get surgery, often called MMA surgery. If you can’t breathe through your nose for 3 mins straight start with an ENT to evaluate your airway.


ZiltoidTheOmniscient t1_je3bomt wrote

I've never been able to breathe through my nose properly. It feels laboured but my ENT says it's just inflammation and small passages and if it bothers me, I have to be on a several year wait list for surgery, but not something that should be a problem. It definitely is a problem.


mnorri t1_je3f6s6 wrote

Yes!! I know a developmental pediatrician. She says it’s her SOP to order a sleep study when a child presents with ADHD symptoms. When they’re young, CPAPs are not a good idea (the whole “skull not being solidified yet” issue. When the interventions like tonsils and adenoids removed improve the OSA, the ADHD symptoms can improve a lot too.


KingKongAintGotShitt t1_je3rm0q wrote

Apparently I have a faulty esophageal sphincter that opens very easily from the air pressure of the CPAP. And I couldn’t pass the air through farting/burping it out. I was able to burp it out by drinking a coke, but it was very painful and after it happened a few times I decided it wasn’t worth it and I tried to find alternative solutions.


HungryTreasure t1_je44nbo wrote

Went undiagnosed until 30. My brain must be fucked for good. Probably get dementia too.


Andire t1_je45cbh wrote

Highly recommend you see your Dr and ask about doing a sleep study. They'll be able to determine if you have a common sleep disorder like sleep apnea, or need to see someone else for further study. HIGHLY recommend!!


zeekenny t1_je489nv wrote

Do you have a bigger tongue? The checklist for sleep apnea is like, thicker neck, overweight, obstructed nasal passageway, bigger tongue. Doesn't have to be all of those either.

I had it for a long time before I went to get it checked out. In my case I check off everything on the list. It is better when I'm at a good weight, but because I check off everything else on the list I'm probably stuck with it.

I had my nose checked out, Doctor said one side was definitely constricted (slightly deviated septum), but he told me it wasn't bad enough that I'd ever get recommended for surgery.

The problem too is that, the clock might tell you you got 8 hours of sleep during the night, but with sleep apnea it's not solid sleep at all.


Lizgandp t1_jealvra wrote

Well if you are already on a wait list maybe consider seeing a myofuntional therapist in the meantime - they often have a network of airway focused dental professionals and ents that take it more seriously, you might get info that is helpful. Maybe start with looking up the website for the breathe institute, lots of info and a list of professionals in your area that have focused on this area of study. Good luck!