It is believed that the Greek term “apnea” literally means “without breath.” Sleep Apnea is a severe sleep disorder that manifests when a person’s breathing ceases for more than 10 seconds in sleep. It may be moderate, mild or even severe, based on how often in an hour the person’s breathing ceases (apnea) or turns fast (hypopnea). Apnea episodes can happen between 5 and 50 times per hour.
As per the National Institutes of Health (NIH) sleep apnea impacts approximately twelve million Americans. But because of an absence of public awareness and an absence of knowledge by healthcare professionals, it’s believed that the majority cases are not diagnosed regardless of the seriousness of the condition and the effects.
There are three kinds of sleep apnea: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) as well as central sleep apnea (CSA) as well as mixed sleep apnea (MSA). OSA is considered to be the most prevalent form of sleep apnea. It can be caused due to a narrowing in the airway. Typically, the soft tissue at the throat’s rear is weakened and then closes when you sleep. In CSA the airway isn’t blocked, but the brain is unable to tell breathing muscles because of unstable respiration control system. Mixed apnea can be described as a mix of both.
What are the consequences?
For any type of apnea the brain temporarily wakes individuals, which causes the body to breathe and causing a an insufficient, sluggish sleep. This is why sleep apnea can also lead to low performance in daily activitieslike school or work motor vehicle accidensa as well as academic failure among adolescents and children.
If untreated sleep apnea could cause an increase in the frequency of health issues, including hypertension, stroke , heart failure irregular heartbeats, as well as heart attacks. In addition, memory issues as well as headaches, weight gain, and even impotency, can happen due to sleep apnea that isn’t treated.
Who is at risk?
Sleep apnea is a problem that can strike any age group and even children. However, the risk factors include:
A neck that is large (17 inches or more in men , and 16 inches or more in women)
Aged over forty
Family history of sleep apnea.
African Americans, Hispanics and Pacific Islanders have a greater chance of developing sleep apnea than Caucasions. Furthermore, African Americans tend to suffer from sleep apnea much earlier age.
Women who have gone through menopausal. Women who go through menopausal changes suffer from sleep apnea in a manner comparable to men.
Conditions that can cause facial and head abnormalities, like Marfan’s Syndrome and Down Syndrome.
Evaluation – If you believe you might are suffering from sleep apnea or other sleep disorders, you should make sure to check your insurance coverage prior to making an appointment as you might be required to obtain the referral to an expert in sleep by your primary care doctor. You might also be required to visit an accredited testing center. Some insurance policies don’t cover for treatment and diagnosis of sleep disorders. Other policies don’t cover the expensive medical equipment. Diagnosis and treatment could be costly that can exceed 1,000 dollars. Doctors who are experts in sleep medicine could be Pulmonologists (specializing in the lungs) and neurologists (the brain) as well as Otolaryngologists (the ears the nose, throat and) and psychotherapy (mental illness) and primary care doctors. Certain doctors might be certified by the American Board of Sleep medicine (ABSM). They also have degrees that meet the standards of the board. In any case you’re likely to be directed to a sleep clinic. If your doctor does not refer you to a specific sleep center, you can visit http://www.aasmnet.org/ for the most up to date list of accredited member sleep centers and laboratories.
At the sleep clinic is where you will take part in a sleep study that utilizes a variety of devices to track your activities during sleep. These generally include an electroencelphalogram (EEG) to measure brain waves and an electroculogram (EOG) to measure eye and chin movement, both to monitor the different stages of sleep. A electrocardiogram (EKG) can measure the heart rate and rhythm, chest bands to monitor breathing patterns, and monitors to measure carbon dioxide and oxygen levels in blood, as well as monitors to track leg movements. All of these devices aren’t uncomfortable and there aren’t any needles required.
Typically, your doctor will suggest lifestyle modifications along with CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) therapy, however surgery is an option should these methods fail. It is the American Sleep Apnea Association identifies CPAP therapy as the most popular treatment for this condition. CPAP therapy is a method of preventing breathing passages from shutting while you sleep. It is administered before bed by using the use of a facial or nasal mask, which is secured by Velcro straps that fit around the head of the patient. It is attached through tubes to an air compressor. The CPAP machine pumps air under tension through the tube, and into the mask. There, it creates pressure for the upper airways and prevents the tissues of the throat’s back from collapsing in sleep.
CPAP therapy is an extremely effective method of treatment, but the most significant issue is not being able to comply. It has been reported that over 65% patients utilize the device at a maximum of 4 hours each night, and it is recommended to use it throughout the patient’s rest. In many instances patients, patients use the CPAP only for one or two nights during the week.