What is Sleep Apnea and How is it Treated?
Sleep Apnea Defined
Consequences of Sleep Apnea
How Sleep Apnea is Diagnosed
Treatment for Sleep Apnea
Scheduling a Sleep Study
Sleep disorders are a common problem for many people. In this article, we will take a look at sleep apnea, what it is, why it’s a problem, how it gets diagnosed, and treatment options.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is the failure to breathe while you sleep. The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) where the airway collapses, cutting off airflow to the lungs.
Snoring is often associated with poor sleep and is often overlooked by many. A partial airway obstruction causes the upper airway tissues to vibrate and produce the snoring sound.
Why Sleep Apnea is Harmful
The longer OSA goes untreated, the greater the negative side effects and associated health risks. If sleep apnea remains untreated, other health conditions may emerge or current health problems may heighten, including:
- High Blood Pressure
- Heart Disease
- Heart Attack
- Heart Failure
- Reflux disease (GERD)
- Gestational Diabetes
- Sexual Dysfunction
Sleep apnea can cause a slew of issues including:
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Difficulty concentrating on tasks such as driving and remaining focused at meetings.
- Morning and daytime headaches
- Generalized irritability
- Impaired emotional functioning
- Sleep-disordered breathing in childhood may be instrumental in delaying or damaging cognitive development.
Diagnosis of Sleep Apnea
At Home Sleep Study allows you to get tested for sleep apnea in the comfort of your own home. By wearing a small device while you sleep, we can determine if you have OSA.
This is an easy, affordable way to discover the severity of your sleep disorder and much more comfortable than going to a sleep lab where you are connected to several electrodes in an unfamiliar environment.
The device you wear will monitor your respiratory movement/airflow, heart rate, and oxygen saturation. This data is then read by our sleep professionals, usually within the same day, to determine if you have OSA and its severity. A treatment plan will be discussed with you.
Sleep Apnea Treatment
CPAP is the most common treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. CPAP is non-invasive (it does not enter the body). The CPAP machine is small and pulls in room air, compresses it, and blows it into a tube that is attached to a mask worn by the patient. The pressurized air from the CPAP keeps the airway open, allowing the patient to breathe normally during sleep.
Other Treatment Options
While CPAP is the common treatment option, other modalities of treatment do exist, including:
- Lifestyle changes
- Positional therapy
- Weight loss
- Oral sleep apnea appliances
- Surgical procedures
- Something like a Leesa mattress that spread your weight evenly while you sleep.
Benefits of Treatment
Patients who treat obstructive sleep apnea will return to a more normal sleep pattern allowing the body its much-needed rest. Patients will feel more awake and energetic allowing increased focus and activity throughout the day. Benefits also include reduced risk for heart failure, stroke, diabetes, hypertension, and other ailments associated with OSA.
Schedule Your At Home Sleep Study
At Home Sleep Study is an easy, affordable option for anyone who thinks they may have sleep apnea. Scheduling your sleep study is easy. Click here to get started.