A 35-year-old member asked:
Disclaimer

can sleep apnea be affected by altitude?

3 doctor answers
Dr. Jeffrey Jarvis
37 years experience Dentistry
Not the event: Sleep apnea is caused by a restriction of airflow by tissues, producing a cessation of breathing for 10 seconds or more. The altitude would not change the frequency or occurence of the events. But, ....Since you have less oxygen available at altitude, it could make the apnic event more serious, ie. Even less o2 than before. If you have severe probs, talk to your md.
Answered on May 24, 2017
1
1 thank
Dr. Carlo Hatem
25 years experience Pulmonary Critical Care
No: Altitude can change the breathing pattern but does not cause or aggravate sleep apnea.
Answered on Apr 1, 2019
4
4 thanks
Dr. Marybeth Lambe
45 years experience Travel Medicine
Yes but Complex: Many people get a form of 'Central Sleep Apnea' if they sleep at a high enough altitude. We breathe hard when we are at extreme heights and blow off a lot of carbon dioxide. Lack of carbon dioxide in the blood fools the brain and decreases our drive to breathe well & deeply while sleeping. This is different than more common obstructive sleep apnea which can be impacted as well
Answered on Sep 5, 2017

90,000 U.S. doctors in 147 specialties are here to answer your questions or offer you advice, prescriptions, and more. Get help now:

Ask doctors free
Personalized answers
Free
Talk to a doctor
24/7 visits
$15 per month

Related questions:

A 35-year-old member asked:
Dr. Derrick Lonsdale
73 years experience Preventive Medicine
Altitude sickness: The higher you go the rarer the oxygen concentration. Since your brainstem is already compromised you will have difficulty in adapting to the altitude ... Read More
A 32-year-old member asked:
Dr. Thomas Stern
24 years experience Pulmonary Critical Care
High altitude: It is difficult to predict what will happen to your sleep apnea at high altitudes. People without sleep apnea can develop cheyne stokes respirations ... Read More
1
1 thank
A member asked:
Dr. Eduardo isai Perez munoz
Specializes in General Practice
Need further : It is needed to see an especialist for him/her to make you a test or look fot it in internet it is called Epworth test, then you should see an special ... Read More

90,000 U.S. doctors in 147 specialties are here to answer your questions or offer you advice, prescriptions, and more. Get help now:

Ask doctors free
Personalized answers
Free
Talk to a doctor
24/7 visits
$15 per month