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.

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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.

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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.

Three Reasons to Use Your CPAP

Adjusting to your CPAP therapy can be difficult, but there are plenty of reasons why it should still be used.  Many new users find the transition into CPAP therapy uncomfortable, and therefore decide to stop using it thinking it isn’t really a big deal.  Unfortunately, not treating your sleep apnea can result in a variety of problems.  Here are a few great reasons why using your CPAP equipment nightly can benefit your health and mood:

Improve Your Overall Health

Of course, the number one reason to continue using your CPAP equipment is to treat your sleep apnea!  Preventing the instances of apneas while you sleep keeps you breathing steadily throughout the night, allowing you to rest more easily.  This results in a better night’s sleep and a better mood throughout the day, keeping you productive and happy.

Keep Better Relationships

Using your CPAP equipment regularly as advised by your doctor, you can improve your overall mood from someone who hates getting up in the morning to a person who can’t wait to see what the day brings.  This shift in attitude can greatly affect your relationship with your spouse, coworkers, and friends.  Not to mention, studies have shown that treating your sleep apnea can even help take care of issues with low libido!  Keep up with your therapy to keep up with your social life.  

Avoid Other OSA Related Health Issues

Sleep apnea has been linked to a number of other diseases.  Ailments like heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure have all been suggested to occur at a higher instance in those who do not treat their sleep apnea.  Continuing with your treatment can help save you a ton of money in the long run by avoiding these unwanted health issues.  Keep up with your CPAP therapy and help decrease your chance of developing these related complications.

Final Thoughts

Of course, the above outline is not an exhaustive outline of the benefits of CPAP therapy, but hopefully you now have a better idea of why you should keep it up. Of course, it is best to speak with your doctor to determine what is best for your individual needs.

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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 the Different Types of CPAP Machines?

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)

AirSense 10 CPAP Machine

CPAP machines are the most basic air pressure machine used to treat your sleep apnea.  Like all other machines this post will cover, this therapy works by delivering pressurized air through your airway in order to keep it open while you sleep.  This helps to eliminate the instances of apneas, where your airway closes and you actually stop breathing.  CPAP machines have one pressure setting, prescribed by your doctor, that the machine will run on throughout the night.

Bi-Level Positive Airway Pressure (BiPAP)

Respironics PR System One BiPAP Machine

BiPAP machines are considered a step up from traditional CPAP machines.  They are able to toggle between two separate pressure settings in order to provide more comfort for the user.  Typically, these pressure settings are set to an inhalation pressure and an exhalation pressure, offering a higher and lower setting respectively.  Many users report that they are more comfortable with this type of machine because it offers an easier time exhaling, making them more comfortable.

Auto-adjusting CPAP (APAP)

dreamstationAPAP machines are the most sophisticated form of CPAP treatment and are often reserved for patients with severe sleep apnea.  Unlike CPAP and BiPAP machines, these machines are able to automatically register the amount of pressure needed to keep your airway open, even adjusting breath by breath if necessary.  Because of this ability, these machines are even capable of adjusting your pressure based on your sleeping position, any weight gain or loss, or things like alcohol consumption that could effect how you are breathing.  

Final Thoughts

Of course, the above outline is not an exhaustive outline of the different machines, but hopefully you now have a better idea of what might work best for you. Of course, it is best to speak with your doctor to determine what is best for your individual needs.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

Is your Nightly Workout Affecting your Sleep?

Many people don’t like having to wake up earlier than they need to.  Between work, kids, and all of your other activities it can be difficult to fit in a good workout, which causes many people to have to squeeze one in before going to sleep.  Though it’s true that exercising during the day can help tire you out and allow rest to come more easily, it has often been thought that exercise before bed may make falling asleep more difficult.

Exercise has a number of effects on the body that alter your temporary chemistry and activity level.  Increases in certain hormones, blood circulation, and muscle use are all factors that are good for you in the long run and provide helpful benefits.  The increased heart rate and body temperature were once thought to cause too much excitement to allow sleep shortly after, but luckily a new study has helped to answer this age-old question.

It turns out that for most people, exercising late at night has little to no effect on their ability to fall asleep.  In fact, most studies show that any physical activity, no matter what time, actually helps you fall asleep more quickly and stay more soundly asleep since you’ve tired yourself out.  Some people, however, are more affected by the physical excitement that comes with exercise.  If you find you are someone who has a more difficult time falling asleep after exercise you may want to ensure it’s a few hours before your usual bedtime.  Exercise to help stay more soundly asleep is a great way to ensure wakefulness during the day.

Final Thoughts

Of course, the above outline is not an exhaustive resource, but hopefully you now have a better idea of how to stay as rested as possible. If you have individual concerns, it is best to speak with your doctor to determine what is best for your individual needs.

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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.

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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 Can I Have a More Restful Night’s Sleep?

Many people transitioning into CPAP therapy find it difficult to adjust to.  If you’re feeling restless, however, it may have less to do with your CPAP equipment and more to do with your daily habits.  It could be due to a number of little things you do during the day that don’t have an effect until much later at night.  Below, we outline a number of these common problems.  You may find that following these simple tips could help your body know when it’s time to rest.

Shut off your electronics

It is recommended that you have no contact with your cellphones, laptops, tablets, or other electronics at least an hour before you plan on going to sleep.  Many doctors think that the bright screens are capable of heightening your brain activity, making it harder to adjust back to a relaxed state for sleep.  By holding off on your electronics, you could help train your brain to know when it’s time for bed.

Keep the room dark

This follows a similar concept as above; by keeping the room as dark as possible, you ensure that you have as few disruptions as possible.  This can allow your brain and body to relax and settle down, allowing sleep to come easier.  If you sleep during the light hours of the day, try products like blackout blinds to keep the sun out.

Take a nap

This tip may seem counterproductive, but not if it’s done in the right way.  Naps under 30 minutes can actually help you sleep better at night by preventing exhaustion.  Sleeping more than 30 minutes during the day, however, can cause you to wake during the deeper parts of your sleep cycle, causing you to wake feeling less well rested.  Many doctors also recommend you nap in a different area than where you sleep.  This recapitulates your body’s understanding that when you’re in your bed, it’s time to sleep.

CPAP therapy can make great strides towards your feelings of restfulness and alertness.  It does take time to transition, but the benefits greatly outweigh any initial discomfort.  If you’re following these above tips and still finding it difficult to fall asleep, talk with your doctor about other things you might consider.

Final Thoughts

Of course, the above outline is not an exhaustive resource, but hopefully you now have a better understanding of a few things you can do to improve your quality of rest. It is best to speak with your doctor to determine what is best for your individual needs.

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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 was CPAP Sleep Therapy First Invented?

Overview

If you are curious about the history of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy, you are not alone. Many CPAP patients often wonder as to the origins of their therapy, and how the underlying science was originally conducted that has transformed into today’s cutting edge Obstructive Sleep Apnea treatment culminating into products such as Resmed CPAP machines or Respironics CPAP masks. It all started with Dr. Colin Sullivan and his clinical experiments back in 1980, and has evolved into a group of more than 18 million americans alone.

History

The therapy was actually first tested on canines to determine whether the basic hypothesis was sufficient: focused, pressurized air would be able to essentially push through any obstacles that obstructed the airways. If this method worked, the first non-invasive therapy could be developed and patients could opt out of a costly, invasive, and inconvenient surgery. The first human test subject was a perfect patient to undergo testing. Suffering from severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea, the patient wandered into Dr. Sullivan’s office in Australia and sought treatment, but refused surgery. After agreeing to test trails of the brand new CPAP machine (now primative by 2016 standards), the seven hour treatment was a resounding success. During the process, Dr. Sullivan continued to increase pressure until Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) symptoms decreased and the patient resumed a normal, healthy sleep cycle. After awakening, the patient reported that he felt the best that he had felt in a long time. Dr. Sullivan continued to innovate in the field for years to come following his initial positive trials.

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Modern CPAP Therapy

Soon after, the first commercially available CPAP machine was launched in the United States by Phillips Respironics, and companies began entering the market to compete for the ever-growing patient base. CPAP therapy was first thought to be a short term solution to satisfy a patient until surgery could be performed, but it has transformed into a new standard of living for many patients who previously dreaded their lack of quality sleep and the adverse effects on their daily life.

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Final Thoughts

Of course, the above outline is not an exhaustive resource, but hopefully you now have a better understanding of the history behind the widely popular CPAP therapy that you might be using today. If you’re curious to learn more, the American Sleep Association (ASA) can provide more information on historic clinical trials and their outcomes.