So you snore, but does that mean you have sleep apnea? We will answer questions like this and more as we tackle the most common questions about this common sleep disorder.
1. What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder where breathing starts and stops. There are three main types of sleep apnea, but the most common one is called obstructive sleep apnea. Those with OSA have throat muscles that relax during sleep. When breathing is constantly stopping and starting, it can cause a limited amount of oxygen to the rest of the body.
2. How common is sleep apnea?
It is estimated that 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, but around 80 percent of them go undiagnosed. This creates a great health risk and epidemic to millions.
3. How do I know if I have sleep apnea?
The best way to know if you have sleep apnea is to get tested. You can begin by speaking with your doctor about your concerns. They will be able to ask you a series of questions to determine if you should undergo testing. You should also check with your partner to see if they have noticed you snoring or gasping in the night.
4. What causes obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?
When the muscles in the back of your throat relax too much, it can interfere with proper breathing. This is known as OSA. OSA can make it difficult to breathe for 10-20 seconds, limiting the oxygen from traveling through your body as it should. Your body then tries to compensate for the oxygen loss which you may notice as snoring or gasping. Those who are at a higher risk for developing OSA may have or do any of the following: diabetes, hypertension, smoking or are overweight.
5. If I snore, does that mean I have sleep apnea?
Snoring should never be accepted as normal. If you notice you or your loved one snoring repeatedly, it’s time to seek counsel from a physician.
6. What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?
Symptoms may vary, but the most common are: headaches, fatigue, snoring, night sweats, restlessness during sleep and depression.
7. What are the negative side effects of OSA?
You can imagine that if your body is not getting the amount of oxygen it requires, there are going to be some serious side effects. If left untreated, OSA can cause: plaque in the arteries, an increased risk of heart attack or stroke, obesity, chronic fatigue, depression and diabetes.
8. How is OSA treated?
One of the best-proven ways to treat mild and severe OSA is with a CPAP machine (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure). As the name suggests, it provides continuous airflow throughout the body, so you no longer have cessations of breath. Your course of treatment will likely be determined after you have undergone a sleep study.
Allow Advanced Respiratory Care Network to help you with your sleep apnea. We know the disorder and understand the importance of getting your sleep and health where it needs to be. Check out our online catalog today!