A Hopeful Note for Sleep Apnea Sufferers
I have spilled a lot of digital ink warning my readers about the many pernicious effects of sleep apnea: dementia, depression, diabetes, and more. One thing I have rarely addressed is the question of whether these issues may be reversible. Can you recover from the effects of sleep apnea if you address the apnea itself?
One study seems to suggest that at least one effect – depression – may be improvable following an intervention for sleep apnea:
For people with depression and obstructive sleep apnea, using a nightly device to improve breathing while asleep may also improve depression symptoms, according to a new review of the evidence.
It’s not yet known whether easing the apnea eased the depression, or whether the depression remained clinically unchanged but people were better able to handle it because they weren’t so exhausted. Ultimately it is a meaningless distinction, of course: the subjective experience of these people was clearly improved.
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