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[Health] Apnea and GERD
Hi, I'm new and I have had sleep apnea my entire life but only started using a CPAP machine in 2007. I'm still struggling with swallowing air, but hopefully I'll find something on this site to help.

I know some might think this is off topic, but it actually isn't. So bear with me please.

I recently had a gastroscopy and colonoscopy after a dear friend of mine was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer, from which he is dying. At the time I thought it might be a bit of overkill, as I only occasionally have reflux, but he insisted I get it checked out, and in the end I was glad I did as it turned out I too have GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease), the disease that started it all for him.

Why am I sharing this on a sleep apnea site? Because research tells us that 75-80% of people with sleep apnea also have GERD. They don't know exactly why, but the correlation definitely exists. So if you or someone you love has sleep apnea and reflux, please get them checked out asap as this type of cancer is a death sentence.

Thanks for bearing with me!

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Good reminder. GERD is one of the notes on my chart. I did not take any action about it until one of the doctors took the time to educate me about the effects of acid on my lungs. Up till that time I just thought it was no big deal.

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(08-22-2016, 02:42 AM)SleepyVenter Wrote: ... research tells us that 75-80% of people with sleep apnea also have GERD.:

First of I would like to say Welcome SleepyVenter

You have found the right forum to ask this type of question. There are many Apnea Gurus in the forum that can help you with your therapy.

I built a new home in 2002 and when we moved into the place I developed a cough. After several months I went to the doctor for help and he treated me for;silent GERD, since I did not have any feelings of heart burn.

The medication he gave me did not seem to help. So I went to an allergists thinking there was something in the new house that I was allergic to.........They ran multiple tests but they all came back negative.

I found some relief by sucking on eucalyptus cough drops. Over the next 13 years I became a major consumer of eucalyptus cough drops always carrying some in my pocket. Going though two big bags a week. I became Walgreens best customer.

One of my hobbies is playing bass and singing in a church band. To deal with the cough I actually learned to sing with the cough drop in my mouth, it was the only way to get through a song without coughing.

Why am I telling to all of this? Because when I went on therapy the cough immediately went away. At first I thought it was because of the initial dehydration I experienced, but I have now been on the hose for 223 days and the cough has not returned.

I suspect the cough was actually caused by the apneas. Thinking-about

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One theory that I have read is that the slight vacuum in your throat caused by trying to breathe against the obstruction sucks the stomach acid into your throat. A weak hiatus (see hiatal hernias) may be a contributing factor.

My symptoms started to reduce as soon as got to a successful level of therapy. I am now in the process of reducing my medication to see if CPAP alone is sufficient.

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Hi SleepyVenter,

Glad you posted this, I was planning to post something on this subject. I have been a CPAP user for 15+ years and was diagnosed with GERD and Barretts esophagus maybe 5 years ago. I take medication for GERD. Along with this has been an intermittent dry cough. Recently I was able to get started with some humidification on the CPAP and it appears that the cough may be improving.

At the last visit my Doc recommended that I try raising the head of the bed about 4 or 5 inches or sleep with a wedge shaped pillow to reduce the GERD. My wife and I have decided that the wedge pillow might be best. So I am curious if anyone on the forum has tried this and, if so, what results did they have? I'll keep an eye on this thread and also will post anything helpful that I learn. Good luck with your treatment, this forum is a great source of help.

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Hi SleepyVenter,
WELCOME! to the forum,! and thank you for posting this very helpful information.
I wish you much success with your CPAP therapy.
Hang in there for more responses to your post.
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