Association of allergy/immunology and obstructive sleep apnea.Allergy Asthma Proc 2016; 37(6):443-449AA
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is characterized by repetitive upper airway collapse that results in nonrefreshing sleep, excessive daytime sleepiness, and, ultimately, adverse consequences on quality of life, the cardiovascular system, and neurocognitive performance. OSA has traditionally been linked to body habitus (obesity and increased neck circumference), racial demographics, alcohol, tobacco, and sedative use. Numerous other conditions are linked to OSA, which may have clinical relevance. Specifically, asthma and nasal obstructive syndromes, e.g., rhinitis, have been shown to be risk factors. This review used the anatomic homogeneity of the upper and lower airways as an explanation for the inflammatory conditions that underlie and interrelate rhinitis, asthma, and OSA. There is strong evidence that both immunoglobulin Emediated and irritant-induced inflammation in either airway location play a significant role in all three (OSA, rhinitis, and asthma). We highlighted pathophysiologic, chemical, and cellular factors that explain the distinct relationship among OSA, asthma, and rhinitis, with emphasis for increased provider vigilance of the other syndromes when a patient is diagnosed with either entity.