Air Pollution and Sleep Apnea: What You Need to Know

Sleep apnea is an increasingly common problem among American adults. As of 2014, at least 25 million adults in the United States suffered from this sleep disorder, and a growing body of evidence suggests that sleep apnea could increase risks for a variety of cardiovascular diseases. While there are likely many different factors that play into the increasing prevalence of sleep apnea, one contributor that has been identified is air pollution. Here’s what you need to know about the link between air pollution and sleep apnea.


  How Are the Two Connected?


A recent study published by the American Thoracic Society shed considerable light on how higher levels of air pollution correlate to the incidence of sleep apnea. That study focused on two common pollutants, nitrogen dioxide and fine particulate matter (PM 2.5). Both of these pollutants are found in car exhaust and therefore have high exposure rates in urban areas.


In the study, researchers were able to draw a direct correlation between the concentration of these pollutants and rates of sleep apnea. Specifically, the study found that the risk of sleep apnea increased by 39 percent for every increase of 10 parts per billion of nitrogen dioxide, and an alarming 60 percent for every 5 micrograms per cubic meter of fine particulate matter in the air, both measured as yearly averages.


More research is still needed into the exact mechanism by which air pollution increases the risk of sleep apnea. Pollution is, however, known to cause respiratory irritation that may contribute to apnea, and it may also affect breathing during sleep by affecting the parts of the nervous system that regulate it.


  Can an Air Purifier Help?


Needless to say, air pollution is a massive and complex problem with no magic bullet solution. One thing you can do, though, is to use a high-quality air purifier to keep unwanted pollutants out of your home air. While you’ll still be exposed to pollution outdoors and potentially at your place of work, you can at least control the quality of the air in your home. Some of our top models for removing common air pollutants include:



Have questions about these air purifiers or any other units sold by US Air Purifiers? We’re here to help! Feel free to contact us with your questions and we’ll be happy to provide you with answers and personalized product recommendations for your unique needs.