Setting the Platinum Standard in Sleep Disorders Medicine.™
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More Questions and Answers About Sleep:

I have asthma, which was well controlled until I gained 20 pounds. Since the weight gain, I find myself waking up at night with asthma attacks and frequently reaching for my inhaler. My asthma used to occur primarily when I would exercise, so why am I now having attacks while I’m sleeping?


Ask the Experts: Questions and Answers About Sleep

I have asthma, which was well controlled until I gained 20 pounds. Since the weight gain, I find myself waking up at night with asthma attacks and frequently reaching for my inhaler. My asthma used to occur primarily when I would exercise, so why am I now having attacks while I’m sleeping?

 

As a result of your weight gain, excess fatty tissue is being deposited on the wall of your throat and narrowing your airway. This is likely causing Obstructive Sleep Apnea, or OSA. I would not be surprised if you have also developed snoring or started snoring more since gaining weight. Narrowing of the throat increases airway resistance and irritates the airway which can trigger or worsen a bout of asthma. In fact, the changes in the airway from OSA can worsen all forms of allergic reactions within the airway, including nasal congestion. By treating OSA, asthma and allergic reactions can improve to a remarkable degree. We regularly treat patients with this precise problem of awakening with asthma symptoms, and they respond very well.

     

 

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