What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea or sleep apnoea is when a person has multiple pauses in their breathing pattern during sleep.
3 Types of Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is by far the most common, and is caused by the collapse of the airway during sleep. Snoring is one of the main symptoms. Obstructive sleep apnea is diagnosed and evaluated by looking at an individual’s medical history, doing a physical examination, and polysomnography (a sleep study).
Central sleep apnea is caused by a failure of the brain to activate the muscles of breathing during sleep.
Mixed Sleep Apnea
A mixture of central and obstructive apnea, occurring in the same event of sleep apnea.
The Complications of Sleep Apnea include
1. High blood pressure
Drops of oxygen concentration in the blood caused by blockage of the airways in sleep apnea puts undue stress on the heart. To make up for the lack of oxygen the heart works harder and the blood vessels become stressed. Over time this leads to an increase in blood pressure and puts you at risk of stroke, heart attack and sudden death.
2. Anxiety and depression
3. Daytime sleepiness
Daytime sleepiness can lead to an increased risk of automobile accidents, as well as difficulty concentrating, thinking and remembering
4. Morning headaches
The lack of oxygen in the blood and the build of carbon dioxide tend to cause morning headaches for people suffering from moderate to severe sleep apnea
What are the Treatment Options for Sleep Apnea?
There are both nonsurgical and surgical treatment options for obstructive sleep apnea. Non- surgical options include behavior therapy, such as weight loss, medications, dental appliances, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), bi-level positive airway pressure, and auto-titrating continuous positive airway pressure. Talk to our Sleep experts for an accurate diagnosis and to find the best treatment plan for you.
Snoring and sleep apnea are often confused or thought of as interchangeable. This is not correct. While all untreated obstructive sleep apnea sufferers snore, only some people who snore have sleep apnea.
While many people suffer from sleep apnea who aren’t asthmatic, studies suggest that people with asthma are at increased risk for sleep apnea and that sleep apnea actually can worsen asthma and asthma symptoms in a number of ways.