Sleep apnea is a common, chronic disorder that occurs during sleep. The condition results in pauses or cessation of breathing (apnea) for short periods of time that occur throughout the night. As your body experiences the short episodes of apnea throughout the night your body is stimulated to awaken slightly and resume breathing. These frequent arousals that you may not consciously remember occurring, lead to disruption of your sleep cycle and increased daytime sleepiness. Some of the long term untreated apnea consequences have been associated with: Congestive Heart Failure, Coronary Artery Disease, Depression, Diabetes, Gastric Esophageal Reflux and Hypertension.
Only your physician can diagnose you with sleep apnea. Some of the symptoms you might experience that would lead you to consult with your physician include:
- Daytime sleepiness
- Loud and irregular snoring
- Morning headaches
- Irritability or moodiness
- Poor concentration
- Learning difficulties
- Weight gain
- Memory loss
Premier Home Care, Inc. trained, professional staff includes licensed clinicians as well as highly trained medical equipment technicians that will offer training and education on the equipment prescribed by your physician to treat sleep apnea. Equipment used in the treatment of sleep apnea may include continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), bi-level positive airway pressure (BiPAP) and oxygen.
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Sleep Apnea Medical Terms
- Apnea/Hypopnea Index (AHI)
- Autopap (Auto Adjusting Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Device)
- Bi – Level Positive Airway Pressure (Bi-PAP)
- Central Sleep Apnea (CSA)
- Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)
- Epworth Sleepiness Scale
- Mild OSA
- Moderate OSA
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
- Sleep Healthy
- Sleep Lab
Frequently Asked Questions About Sleep Apnea
- What are some common symptoms that may indicate I have OSA?
Daytime sleepiness, loud and irregular snoring, morning headaches, irritability or moodiness, poor concentration, learning difficulties, weight gain,and memory loss.
- Who gets Sleep Apnea?
According to the National Health Institute, sleep apnea is a disorder that affects more than 12 million people in the United States. It is just as prevalent as asthma or diabetes, although not as widely discussed. The National Institute of Health estimates that 2 percent of women and 4 percent of men over the age of 35 have sleep apnea with associated daytime sleepiness.
- What causes Sleep Apnea?
In OSA, the site of obstruction in most patients is the soft palate extending to the region at the base of the tongue. There are no rigid structures such as cartilage or bone in this area to hold the airway open. During the day, muscles in the region keep the passages open. But as a person with OSA goes to sleep, these muscles relax and the airway collapses.
- What are the risk factors for OSA?
The primary risk factor is excessive weight gain and age. Other predisposing factors associated with OSA include: anatomic abnormalities, enlarged tonsils/adenoids, family history of OSA, and the use of alcohol / sedative drugs.