What is Sleep Apnea and what are the Symptoms?

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) affects approximately 3 million Americans and has recently taken the stage as a more recognized medical issue.  OSA is characterized by the instances of apneas, when you actually stop breathing while sleeping.  This occurs because of a collapse of the soft tissue of your airway, actually eliminating the ability to breathe.  When these apneas occur, your body actually wakes you up in order to start you breathing again.  OSA sounds scary, and it really is if it is left untreated.  Luckily, there are quite a few signs that you could be suffering from sleep apnea, allowing clues for you to go see your doctor to get on your path to treatment.

One of the most obvious symptoms of OSA is the occurrence of these apneas.  Your partner may actually be able to notice these if they are near while you are sleeping.  You can notice them too; if you ever find yourself jolted awake, it could be your body waking you up to restart respiration.  Another very common symptom is loud snoring.  Again, your partner may complain of this and if you experience snoring with any other symptoms it is worth it to take a trip to a doctor.

There are plenty of other symptoms to look out for.  Because OSA greatly affects your quality of sleep, many of the symptoms are related.  Often, those with untreated OSA find themselves feeling tired throughout the day.  Along with this, you could experience irritability or mood swings due to your body not getting the deep sleep it needs.  Those with undiagnosed sleep apnea can even have poor job performance in more severe cases.  Even if these symptoms don’t seem like the end of the world, untreated OSA has been linked to an increased risk of heart attack, type 2 diabetes, weight gain, and more severe high blood pressure.  Because of this, it is very important that you see a doctor or schedule a sleep test so you can begin treatment.  Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) treatment is the most effective method of managing your OSA and is shown to help eliminate all of the aforementioned symptoms.  You will find yourself more alert, happier, and you may even lose a few pounds along the way.

Final Thoughts

Of course, the above outline is not a complete guide to OSA or it’s symptoms, but hopefully you now have a better idea of some symptoms. Of course, it is best to speak with your doctor to determine what is best for your individual needs.

________________________________________

If you have any needs, concerns, or questions, visit our main website at http://www.cpapplus.com/

We would love to hear your comments or questions.

Do I Have Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) has been on the rise in the last few years, now with over 200,000 new cases diagnosed every year.  But being as common as it is, many people suffering from sleep apnea don’t even realize they have it!  One of the most important early symptoms to look out for is excessive snoring while asleep.  Snoring could just be snoring of course, but OSA can cause this symptom due to the partial blockage of airflow through your windpipe, causing loud and persistent snoring that can disturb you and your partner.  Following this, if is very common to find yourself woken suddenly at night due to the instance of apneas, where you actually stop breathing due to airway blockage.  These instances could just feel like waking for whatever reason, or it could be more sudden where you find yourself gasping for air.  These are some of the earliest things to look out for in order to get yourself on the road to treatment.

If your OSA goes untreated for a more prolonged period of time, your symptoms could become much more serious.  Due to these mini waking periods, even if you get what felt like a full night sleep many sufferers find themselves exhausted throughout the day.  This can lead to irritability, mood swings, and a decrease in productivity, all of which can affect your relationships and job performance.  Waking, you could experience a sore throat, dryness of the mouth, or headaches, all of which can have you starting off the day on the wrong side of the bed.

Further down the line, sleep apnea has actually been linked to weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease when it goes untreated.  If you’ve experienced any of these symptoms, it is best to go see a doctor or get a sleep test done to avoid any further complications.  Treatments like continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) have been shown as the most effective means of controlling your OSA and reducing the risk of severe symptoms down the line.

 

Final Thoughts

Of course, the above outline is not a complete guide to Obstructive Sleep Apnea, but hopefully you now have a better idea of what symptoms to look out for. Of course, it is best to speak with your doctor to determine what is best for your individual needs.

________________________________________

If you have any needs, concerns, or questions, visit our main website at http://www.cpapplus.com/

We would love to hear your comments or questions.

How Do I Know If I Have Sleep Apnea?

There are many ways that obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can manifest itself, and the symptoms can be different from person to person.  Because of this, it is very important to talk to your doctor if you are worried you may have developed OSA so you can get the treatment you need to stay healthy.  The most concrete symptom of OSA is the occurrence of apneas, an instance where you actually stop breathing in your sleep.  This is caused by a partial collapse of your airway and can actually be noticeable by your partner due to the dangerous lack of breathing that occurs.  Alongside these apneas, you may have been told you are a loud snorer or sometimes cough or sputter after these apneas happen.

There can also be less obvious signs of OSA.  Many people notice that when they wake up, they experience an overall feeling of exhaustion.  This is due to the limited deep sleep that those with untreated OSA experience, as your body needs to continuously wake you up in order to stop the instance of apneas.  This tiredness can carry into your day to day life, affecting your mood and job performance.  Some people have even reported falling asleep behind the wheel, so this symptom can become quite dangerous.

Because of these symptoms, untreated OSA is a lot more serious than many people tend to believe.  Luckily, however, the use of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure treatment (CPAP) can eliminate these symptoms all together.  CPAP works by sending pressurized air through your airway to eliminate dangerous apneas.  As a result, you sleep more soundly and are therefore better rested throughout the day.  The pressurized air also eliminates snoring, providing better rest for your partner as well.  After initial adjustment, CPAP users often find they perform better at work and have better relationships with loved ones due to a healthier overall mood.  Start your journey to better health with us today!

Final Thoughts

Of course, the above outline is not an exhaustive resource of all OSA symptoms, but hopefully you now have a better idea of what to look out for. Of course, it is best to speak with your doctor to determine what is best for your individual needs.

________________________________________

If you have any needs, concerns, or questions, visit our main website at http://www.cpapplus.com/

We would love to hear your comments or questions.

I’m always tired. Do I have Sleep Apnea?

Before Your Visit with the Doctor

In last week’s blog post, we took a look at the steps that happen after your visit with the doctor. But, what about before that initial visit? How do you know if you need to go to the doctor in the first place? If you are always incredibly tired during your normal daily routine, that struggle might be a red flag that you’re unknowingly struggling with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). How can you be receiving a solid seven and a half to eight hours, seemingly uninterrupted, yet still be exhausted during the next day?

brown-bear-912444_1280

The Nitty Gritty

Here is what might be happening: after you’re asleep, the muscles that hold strong and maintain the air passageway behind the soft palate and the tongue soften. If the air passageway is of normal, healthy size, the softening creates no problems, and is a normal, healthy occurrence in all human adults. Alternatively, if the passageway is smaller, it can collapse. Small passageways are often artificially created by obesity since there is too much weight bearing down on the neck. Other times, genetics play a role, as Obstructive Sleep Apnea might be a predominant trait in your family.

lion-1204818_1280

The Subtle Damage

You will continue to try to breath against the closed air passageway. It will become increasingly vigorous as blood oxygen levels drop and carbon dioxide levels increase, which is your body’s response to the alarming occurrence at hand. The arduous effort to breathe causes you to eventually awaken, which flexes the muscles behind the tongue. Because the waking period is brief, you return to sleep immediately, and are unaware that anything out of the ordinary took place. If this “hiccup” happens again and again during the night, sleep becomes disjointed and choppy, and you experience the daytime sleepiness that you know all too well.

Final Thoughts

Of course, the above outline is not an exhaustive resource, but hopefully you now have a better understanding of what exactly happens to cause your daytime tiredness. At this point, if this sounds like something you might be struggling with, you may want to see a doctor to determine the beneficial next steps on the road to wakefulness.

What are Signs of Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea affects about 25 million adults in the US alone, and many of the symptoms are not as obvious as you would hope. Probably the most common symptom that most adults experience is fatigue and tiredness during the day.  This tiredness can cause irritability, headaches, and general fatigue that many people report having a negative impact on their job performance or personal relationships.  At night, sufferers of OSA often experience frequent waking, sore throat, extremely loud snoring, and even night sweats.  

belly-2473_1280

 

 

 

 

Because of some of these symptoms, it is often the case that your partner will notice these issues even before you do.  That means that if he or she is complaining about how loud you snore, you may want to take it more seriously than as if it were just an annoyance if you have been experiencing any other symptoms of OSA.  Continuous Positive Airway Pressure treatment (CPAP) has been shown to virtually eliminate many symptoms of OSA outside of the instances of apneas leaving you and your partner more refreshed during the day.

OSA in children can exhibit many of the same symptoms, but it can also manifest in different ways.  For example, drooling or choking during the night is more prevalent in childhood sleep apnea than adults.  Just like adults, however, your child may start feeling sluggish and even fall behind in school due to the restless night’s sleep he or she is experiencing.  It is important to talk to your doctor if you notice these symptoms in yourself, your partner, or your child, especially since some symptoms are obviously not specific to only OSA and there could be a different issue surfacing.

Final Thoughts

Of course, the above outline is not an exhaustive resource of the symptoms of OSA, but hopefully you now have a better idea of what to look out for. Of course, it is best to speak with your doctor to determine what is best for your individual needs.

________________________________________

If you have any needs, concerns, or questions, visit our main website at http://www.cpapplus.com/

We would love to hear your comments or questions.

Why Should I Treat My Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a serious condition, even it it may not seem as threatening as some.  On the surface, sleep conditions are often seen as less serious issues, but obstructive sleep apnea has been linked to a number of health related issues that can be greatly helped by using CPAP therapy.

Many people think that the longer you stay awake, the more calories you burn, but in reality your sleep deprivation could be a factor in those extra few pounds.  A new study from the Physical Activity and Weight Management Research Center in Pittsburgh has suggested that a lack of sleep can offset hormone regulation, an instability that can increase weight retention.  Because hormones help regulate your appetite, energy level, and mood they can have huge effects on the body, so consider that next time you watch that extra hour of television.  

More current studies from the National Academy of Science elaborate even further.  Fewer hours of sleep leave the body wanting to compensate for the lost rest with greater food intake.  This calorie influx is the largest factor in unwanted weight, but the decreased energy level also leaves little left for exercise.  Don’t think extra hours of rest will shake off those unwanted pounds, but over time a healthy level of sleep can keep you slim.  Because weight can be an influencing factor on sleep apnea severity, be sure to stay well rested to keep your body in great shape.

There have also been numerous studies published revealing further evidence for a link between sleep apnea and heart related disease.  It turns out that the lack of oxygen caused by untreated obstructive sleep apnea can cause blunting of the neurons at the base of the brain that control heart rate.  This means those nerves have a slower reaction time and less control over your heartbeat or other related functions.  These slower reflexes can have a huge impact in causing conditions like irregular heartbeat and hypertension.

Because obstructive sleep apnea lowers blood oxygen concentration, these nerves can essentially begin to starve, causing their reaction times to lose their spunk.  The added restless time caused by OSA only heightens stress on the body and therefore the nerves.  By continuing your CPAP treatment, you can help minimize apnea episodes and therefore reduce the stress put on your neurons.

Final Thoughts

Of course, the above outline is not an exhaustive resource, but hopefully you now have a better understanding of the importance of CPAP therapy. If you have individual concerns about any link between OSA and other issues you may be having, it is best to speak with your doctor to determine what is best for your individual needs.

________________________________________

If you have any needs, concerns, or questions, visit our main website at http://www.cpapplus.com/

We would love to hear your comments or questions.

What are treatments for Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Therapy Overview

Many patients who use Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy to treat their obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) often wonder what other alternatives exist to treat the disease.  You might be surprised to find out that there are a variety of treatments available, spanning the spectrum from invasive to completely non-invasive.  Each type of treatment and therapy has its own pros and cons, and the best type of therapy often depends on the patient’s individual needs and preferences.

CPAP Therapy

Chances are, if you find yourself on this blog, you are pretty familiar with Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy to treat obstructive sleep apnea.  Pressurized air is delivered through the patient’s mouth to their airway passages from an external machine.  Tubing connects the machine and the wearable mask, and the patient has assistance in the form of pressurized air to push through any blockages that may develop in the airway passages, also known as a hypopnea.  Pros include the non-invasive method of therapy and proven benefits of long term use, but often patients have trouble successfully adopting their new treatment into their lifestyle on a permanent basis.

cpap

Oral Appliance

A popular trend in the obstructive sleep apnea world is to recommend Oral Appliances for treatment instead of traditional CPAP therapy.  The oral appliance functions similarly to a mouth guard and patients undergo a fitting process to ensure an optimal fit.  The oral appliance manually slides the jaw forward, and removes any blockages or hypopneas that occur due to obstructive sleep apnea.  Pros include the lifetime affordability of the treatment and the non-invasive nature of delivery, but they are said to potentially cause permanent jaw damage among long time users.

302

Surgery

The most extreme of the various treatment options, surgery is mostly reserved for patients who can’t use either CPAP therapy or an Oral Appliance due to previously existing medical conditions.  The surgery to correct Obstructive Sleep Apnea can take several forms, but the main goal is to remove tissue at the back of the throat.  Technically named, “uvulopalatopharyngoplasty” (UPPP), the surgery seeks to widen the airway passage, deter some muscle action to improve the openness of the throat, and promote movement of the soft palate. Benefits of this procedure include a higher rate of certainty of success, but it is often costly and incredibly invasive, requiring many doctor visits.  Even then, the surgery’s success is not guaranteed and many patients need to return to CPAP therapy in order to continue treatment.

Final Thoughts

Of course, the above outline is not an exhaustive resource, but hopefully you now have a better understanding of how to benefit the most from your CPAP therapy and get the best night’s sleep possible. It is best to speak with your doctor to determine what is best for your individual needs and therapy requirements.

Are Your Gadgets Affecting Your Sleep Quality?

Adjusting to CPAP therapy can be difficult, but it is often the case that beginning therapy can greatly increase your quality of sleep.  If you find that you’re still not feeling as restful as you’d like, however, there could be other reasons.  Did you know that if you get under seven hours of sleep per night you are considered sleep deprived?  If not, you’re not alone.  Over two-thirds of people fall into this category, making it a widely spread condition affecting adults worldwide.  It turns out that our culture’s obsession with electronics could be partly to blame – your cellphone, laptop or tablet could be one of the culprits causing you to have those restless nights.

The social aspect of these devices are partly to blame, with many people constantly checking their social media account, email, electronic news, or any other ‘app’ you can think of.  Many people don’t turn off their devices during the night which certainly can disturb your rest if they ring or vibrate, but more so to blame is the scientific side of these electronics.

The scientific aspect of this sleep disruption has to do with the screen of your device.  Most electronics emit light waves that are near the blue end of the spectrum.  This specific wavelength of light suppresses an important sleep hormone, melatonin, which has an important function in helping you to fall asleep.  This means that if you are checking your phone before bed or when you wake during the night, this blue light is stimulating your brain and causing you to become more restless.  Most doctors recommend that you set aside electronics about an hour before bed to ensure they are not negatively affecting your ability to fall asleep.  By following these guidelines you may be able to more easily adjust to your CPAP therapy, allowing it to make you feel your best.  If you’re having any continuing issues, however, speak with your doctor to see if there are other underlying issues that could be affecting your sleep.

Final Thoughts

Of course, the above outline is not an exhaustive resource, but hopefully you now have a better understanding of how to benefit the most from your CPAP therapy and get the best night’s sleep possible. It is best to speak with your doctor to determine what is best for your individual needs.

________________________________________

If you have any needs, concerns, or questions, visit our main website at http://www.cpapplus.com/

We would love to hear your comments or questions.

What is a CPAP Humidifier and do I need one?

Overview

Most modern Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines that treat sleep apnea offer for option to include a CPAP humidifier. Many first time CPAP users aren’t sure whether or not to purchase the optional humidifier, and often wonder if it’s worth the extra price. In this week’s post, we’ll outline why an individual might benefit from the additional humidifier and how it can increase quality of therapy, as well as increase the probability that you will successfully adopt the new CPAP therapy into your lifestyle permanently and enjoy the benefits to the fullest extent.

Main Header Humidifer

New CPAP users often report discomfort during the transition into CPAP therapy. While some of this discomfort is simply lifestyle adjustment, a majority of the discomfort may be caused by airway passage dryness that can accompany therapy based on your atmospheric and geographical environment. The lack of moisture may result in a sore throat, dry nasal passage, or swelling of the tongue. If you find any of these symptoms to be the case with your CPAP therapy, the inclusion of a humidifier into your treatment plan can help alleviate these symptoms and maintain comfortability throughout the entire night.  As air passes from the machine to the mask, a small amount of moisture is added to the air stream, alloying for a more comfortable breathing dynamic.  All major manufacturers of CPAP machines offer some sort of humidifier that is compatible with their machines, so finding the right one is often very simple.

 

Geography

Patients that live in consistently dryer climates such as areas in the southwestern United States often find the need for a humidifier, as well as cities that experience relatively colder winters that lead to dry air. The moisture that normally acts as a natural lubricant freezes due to the severely cold temperatures, causing the air to irritate your breathing passageways and reduce comfort during your night’s sleep. If this scenario sounds familiar, or you will soon be moving to a colder environment, your best solution is to include an in-home humidifier as well as a CPAP humidifier to combat the negative effects of frigid, dry air and ultimately improve your CPAP experience.
The discomfort is not unique to one type of sleep apnea therapy device, as patients who use CPAP, Auto CPAP, and BiPAP therapy all have reported discomfort based on  geography. Customers might feel compelled to discontinue using their machine but it is important to keep in mind that all of the major manufacturers of CPAP Supplies offer some type of heated humidifier. Whether you own a Resmed, Respironics, Fisher & Paykel, DeVilbiss, or a different brand, you might consider trying a heated humidifier with your present machine.

humidifer 2

Final Thoughts

Of course, the above outline is not an exhaustive resource, but hopefully you now have a better understanding of the whether or not you could personally benefit from a CPAP humidifier in conjunction with your CPAP Machine. It is best to speak with your doctor to determine what is best for your individual needs.
________________________________________
If you have any needs, concerns, or questions, visit our main website at http://www.cpapplus.com/
We would love to hear your comments or questions.

My Partner Says I Snore

Snoring and Sleep Apnea

Snoring. We’ve all done it, some of us admittedly more than others. If your partner has been complaining about your loud snoring at night you may fall in line with the 37 million other Americans that suffer from chronic snoring on a regular basis. Did you know though that snoring can be a sign of a more serious health concern? Chronic snoring is a common symptom of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a condition in which the soft tissue of the airway actually collapses during sleep and causes a decrease in oxygen available to the body. When oxygen decreases, the brain sends signals to the body to wake up and often these waking episodes are unpleasant – coughing, gasping, and choking for air can all occur. These instances, or apneas, can occur hundreds of times a night, leaving you and your partner restless and irritable. If left untreated, OSA can cause serious health concerns. Constant waking has been linked to the production of stress hormones which can elevate blood pressure and leave you at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes and other stress related conditions.

What do I do next?

There are a few simple ways you can avoid going down this slippery slope though – know the symptoms and listen to your partner! Snoring may seem to be only an irritant, but if you find yourself feeling restless, drowsy during the day, or get frequent morning headaches there may be something more serious going on and it’s best to check with your doctor. Often, a sleep test will be performed in which signs of OSA can be spotted, and it’s better to be safe than sorry. One in four men and one in ten women may develop OSA, especially if you are overweight, but don’t worry, there is a treatment. Using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine at night can eliminate the occurrence of apneas and leave you feeling refreshed in the morning and throughout the day. Not to mention your partner will thank you for the lack of snoring! There are a multitude of CPAP devices to choose from, and we are here to help you on your journey to a better night’s rest and a healthier you.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully you now have a better understanding of snoring and the possibilities associated with the behavior, but it is best to talk to your doctor to determine what is best for your individual needs.

If you have any questions, post a comment or feel free to contact at at CPAP Supplies Plus – 877-791-3195.