Sleep Apnoea Can Cause Other Problems
Without treatment, sleep apnoea can lead to:
- a higher chance of having a
- or changes in your mood
- a higher chance of having a serious accident caused by tiredness, such as a car accident
- difficulty concentrating at work or school
Sleep apnoea can also be difficult for your partner and put a strain on your relationship with them.
Side Effects Of Untreated Sleep Apnea
There are numerous side effects specific to untreated sleep apnea that may be to some nothing more than a nuisance and to others that if left untreated can lead to more serious consequences. Among them are:
- Sleep Issues. Nocturnal sleep debt, daytime sleepiness, and morning headaches are all telltale signs that you may have sleep apnea.
- Glandular Problems. Sleep regulates the production and transportation of various hormones throughout the body and many of which are made in one of these three bodily glands. Under normal conditions, growth hormone levels jump up at night – promoting cellular regeneration, muscular repair, and overall growth.
- Gastrointestinal. has been linked to sleep apnea as well as the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Skincare. Lack of sleep can also quickly cause the skin to appear older and less radiant.
- Fatigue. Did you know athletes love to nap? That’s because to perform at their best, they need plenty of rest to rebuild muscles, stave off fatigue and inflammation, and keep their brains sharp. In addition to a solid night’s sleep, athletes frequently include naps in their training schedule, especially on game days when they play in the evenings.
What Are Other Symptoms Of Sleep Apnea
• Loud snoring, usually with gasping or snorting sounds
• Observable cessation of breathing during sleep
• Being abruptly awakened by shortness of breath
• Having a dry mouth or sore throat upon awakening
• Morning headaches
I asked my father how the doctor was able to tell while he was awake that he did not have sleep apnea.
My father replied that the doctor asked him some questions, examined his throat and determined he didn’t have sleep apnea!
At home, I’d observe his breathing stop for 35 seconds at a time, many times during his naps.
A sleep study is called nocturnal polysomnography and it measures multiple physiologic parameters while the patient is asleep.
Dr. Rifkin is the CEO of , an OSA app connecting physicians and patients remotely, providing testing, diagnosis and treatment from one’s home.
Dr. Rifkin is board certified in both neurology and sleep medicine. He also treats insomnia, RLS and narcolepsy.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.
Can You Do A Sleep Study At Home
Yes, it’s called a home sleep study! In fact, Health Sqyre has a Home Sleep Test/Prescription Package that makes it possible to get diagnosed and treated for sleep apnea safely without leaving the comfort of your bed! Once upon a time you had to go to a sleep clinic and stay overnight but our technology can effectively monitor if you snore, heart rate, oxygen levels, and other key indicators that you are high on the apnea hypopnea index. For more information on how a Home Sleep Test works, check out our blog post “How Does The Home Sleep Apnea Test Work?”!
What Happens At A Sleep Clinic
Sleep clinics are specialist clinics that assess, diagnose and treat people with a range of sleep problems, including OSA.
Once you’ve been referred, you’ll be assessed. Clinics assess people in different ways. Some arrange for you to have an overnight sleep study at home before you visit, while others see you first before deciding if you need an overnight study.
How Is Sleep Apnea Diagnosed
To diagnose sleep apnea, your doctor will first ask you about your .
Your doctor may ask you to complete one or more questionnaires to evaluate symptoms like daytime sleepiness as well as risk factors for the condition, such as high blood pressure, obesity, and age.
If your doctor suspects sleep apnea, they may recommend a sleep monitoring test. Also called a sleep study or , it involves spending the night at a lab, clinic, or hospital. Your breathing and other vital signs will be monitored while you sleep.
It’s also possible to monitor your sleep in your own home. Your doctor might suggest at-home sleep monitoring if your symptoms and risk factors strongly suggest sleep apnea.
Sleep Study Using Home
The other type of Sleep Study is done in your own home, where you attach yourself to a portable monitor as you’re going to bed. The monitor will record much the same information as the PSG, such as:
- The amount of oxygen contained in your blood;
- Air movement, while breathing through your nose;
- Your heart rate throughout the night, and
- Chest movements, showing whether you’re attempting to breathe.
The results from your sleep study will be reviewed by a sleep specialist to determine if you suffer from Sleep Apnea. It may be that you’ll be referred to a full PSG study conducted within a sleep center, or alternatively the results of your home based sleep study will determine your future treatment plan.
What Is A Respiratory Limited Sleep Study
This overnight test can be done in hospital or at home. It measures your air flow, how your chest moves as you breathe, your heart rate and the oxygen level in your blood. Some devices register snoring sounds, body position and leg movements. Equipment will be attached to you with tape, wires and straps as you sleep.
Making Progress The Last Year
I am always hesitant to post numbers because they don’t reflect how you feel in the morning. This is especially true for averages like below. For me, anything above an AHI number of 1.0 on my machine makes me feel tired and draggy. Below is a picture of my cpap pressure changes for the last year or so. It is kind of hard to make much out of it. A few things to note though. Back as early as April of 2018, I attempted to sleep at a pressure of 4 only to get bonked with a spike in my AHI to 1.25. That lasted one day. As you can see it is sort of an up and down roller coaster trying to slowly reduce my pressure. By February of 2019 I was sleeping at a pressure of 4 for 50 straight days with average AHI of .65. Also note that in March of this year, I went to high altitude so I raised my pressure and I also had a spike in my AHI.
The Questionnaire Has An Even Higher Predictive Value When You Answer Four More Questions:
- B: Is your Body Mass Index more than 35 kg/m2?
- A: Is your age more than 50 years old?
- N: Is your neck circumference greater than 40 cm?
- G: Is your gender male?
You have a high risk of sleep apnea if you answered “yes” to three or more of the eight STOP-BANG questions. You are strongly encouraged to discuss these results with your medical provider. To find a sleep center in your area, please visit .
There is now evidence that football players are a especially high risk for sleep apnea, particularly those who play offensive and defensive line positions. Learn more about sleep apnea in football players at .
Learn more about what to expect from a sleep evaluation.
, a patient-centered research resource, has been created to engage and inform at-risk and existing sleep apnea patients. Visit to read more about this effort and to contribute to important research efforts that aim to better the lives of patients living with sleep apnea.
Sleep On Your Back And Sides
Sleep position has a lot to do with how well you sleep at night. Your sleep apnea is typically worse when you lie on your back, and side sleeping can cause apnea. This may seem counterintuitive, but the whole point of the home sleep test is to see if and how bad your sleep apnea really is. Sleeping on your back and your sides will help give your doctor more information to decipher whether you are suffering from sleep apnea or not.
What Happens After A Sleep Study
After you complete a sleep study, the collected data is reviewed and scored by the sleep technicians and sleep physician. Once your referring doctor receives these results, they will explain what they have learned from the study. From this point, your medical team can make recommendations and write prescriptions to help remedy any problematic findings.
If you have been prescribed a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine – a common occurrence after the diagnosis of sleep apnea – a second sleep study may be required to determine the correct airway pressure setting.
While an overnight sleep study may feel strange at the time, it is worth doing. Once a sleep disorder is diagnosed, your doctor can take steps to correct it, leading to better sleep in the future.
Below Is A Video On How To Use Your Home Sleep Study Kit
You may need to do an additional in-lab sleep study if:
- Your home sleep apnea test did not record enough data for a physician to make a complete diagnosis
- Your home sleep apnea test results indicate that you do not have obstructive sleep apnea and the physician suspects another sleep disorder
If you are diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, our board-certified sleep physicians will discuss treatment options with you and develop a plan.
As we continue to navigate the ever-increasing use of Home Sleep Studies, it is paramount to note the importance of being evaluated by an accredited American Academy of Sleep Medicine center with board-certified sleep physicians. Working with a facility like Comprehensive Sleep Care Center that maintains the gold standards of accreditation, you can be confident that our testing results and treatment outcomes are being met with the upmost quality of patient care.
Progress Without Using The Cpap Machine
March 28th was the last day that I have used my CPAP machine. One thing I found out is that there is a big jump from a pressure of 4 to no machine. It doesn’t sound like much but my body was so used to the machine, it had to learn how to breathe on its own again. The first week, I woke up with some headaches on some mornings. I started using an overnight Pulse Oximeter that would vibrate if my oxygen got too low. It only went off once and I was awake when it did. I did notice some drops in my oxygen overnight. The second week the headaches died off and the drops in oxygen did too. My body was regaining its ability to breathe on its own. I am now, as of April 13, sleeping with just an oral appliance with an average o2 of 96% and a low of 93%. Best yet, I am waking up from sleep feeling like I did 8 plus years ago. I feel like a normal person now. Refreshed, alert, clear headed, energetic.
How To Tell If You Have Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a tricky condition—the main symptoms often happen when you aren’t awake to notice them. Untreated sleep apnea can lead to and is associated with long-term health complications, so it’s important to get an accurate diagnosis if you want to start sleeping easier.
Some patients only find out they have sleep apnea after a bed partner tells them about snoring or disrupted breathing at night, or after having an overnight sleep study done in a hospital or sleep center.
But how do you tell if you have sleep apnea if you live alone or if you don’t want to participate in a sleep study? Let’s discuss the different ways doctors diagnose this condition—and talk about how your dentist can help during treatment.
Home Sleep Study In Va Md & Dc Area
To properly diagnose Sleep Apnea or other sleep disorders, a patient must undergo a polysomnography , commonly referred to as a sleep study. This is usually done in a sleep lab, requiring the patient to spend the night at the facility, while the polysomnography equipment records their physiological data. Depending on the patients symptoms, other health related issues, and insurance, a home sleep study may be an option.
Comprehensive Sleep Care Center has the area’s top sleep medicine specialists with 9 convenient locations in Virginia and Maryland . If you think you may have a sleep disorder or are diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, our board-certified sleep physicians will discuss treatment options with you and develop a plan.
Whos At Risk For Sleep Apnea
Anyone may suffer from sleep apnea, but there are certain risk factors that make some groups of people more susceptible to this condition. These risk factors include:
- Family history of sleep apnea. Genetics play a role in OSA, so talk to your family members to see if they’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea.
- Large neck circumference. Someone with a wider/thicker neck may have more fat around their airways, which can cause pressure at night and disrupt breathing.
- Age. Sleep apnea is more common in older men and women, and the risk of developing OSA can increase with age. However, this condition can still occur in people of any age or gender.
- Hormonal imbalances. Those with conditions like hypothyroidism and acromegaly may be at an increased risk.
- Certain neurological conditions. Neurological conditions like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s may put some at risk for developing CSA.
The Ultimate Guide To Treating Sleep Apnea Without Insurance
Treating sleep apnea without insurance can be challenging, especially since you need an overnight sleep test for diagnosis and a doctor’s prescription.
Paying out of pocket at a sleep clinic can get pretty expensive. We’ll talk about all the things you can do on your own and your options to get treated at low or minimal cost.
E How To Get A Sleep Apnea Treatment Without Insurance
So, one way or another, you’ve gotten officially diagnosed for sleep apnea.
Let’s talk about your options to get your hands on some of the more expensive sleep apnea treatments such as a CPAP machine when you don’t have insurance.
Pay out of pocket – If you can afford it, many online sellers and in-home sleep testing companies will sell you a CPAP setup once you have a valid prescription.
Financing – Some online sellers offer payment plans
Free and Discounted CPAP equipment
. “Most Uninsured Were Working-Age Adults”, US Census Bureau website.
. “CPAP Machine Cost & Insurance: Everything You Need to Know”, CPAP.com website.
. CPAP Machines and CPAP Masks, American Sleep Association website.
. Diet and exercise in the management of obstructive sleep apnoea and cardiovascular disease risk. Eur Respir Rev. 2017, 26: 160110.
. Mediterranean diet and exercise can reduce sleep apnea symptoms, ScienceDaily website.
. Home Sleep Tests for Obstructive Sleep Apnea , J Am Board Fam Med 2015, 28:504-509.
. Clinical Use of a Home Sleep Apnea Test: An Updated American Academy of Sleep Medicine Position Statement, J Clin Sleep Med. 2018, 14:2075-2077.
Why Do I Need A Sleep Study For A Cpap Machine
You cannot buy a CPAP machine on your own without a sleep study and CPAP prescription… and here’s why. CPAP devices are a class IImedical device under FDA regulation which means a prescription is required to obtain one. In order to obtain a PAP Prescription you must do a sleep study and have a board certified sleep specialist physician interpret your results BEFORE you can begin CPAP therapy.
My Sleep Study Nine Years Ago
Below is a picture of my first sleep study nine years ago when I was diagnosed with sleep apnea. As you can see, it was pretty bad. I was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea with an AHI of 33/hour. I was having 38 desaturations per hour! What is also remarkable is that even with a CPAP machine at a pressure of 8, I was still having 1.6 events an hour.
Do You Have Questions About How To Service Connect Sleep Apnea Claims
You’re aren’t alone. Winning a VA claim to service connect sleep apnea is hard. Winning a VA Sleep Apnea is much harder. In fact, winning your VA sleep apnea claim can feel like you just led your team to victory in the World Cup.
It’s almost as much work – and it can often take as much dedication.
Veterans ask me more questions about sleep apnea than almost any other question about VA Benefits Law. Closely followed by , Hearing Loss, and .
* Can I service connect sleep apnea without a sleep study in service?
* What if it wasn’t diagnosed until years after service – can I service connect it then?
* How do I appeal the VA‘s denial of my Sleep Apnea?
I got so many questions that I began to do a lot of research into how to service connect Sleep Apnea claims and what is happening with Sleep Apnea in the Veteran’s community.
Here’s 4 lessons I learned that I want to pass on to you – if you can really learn and understand these lessons, you will have the power to really improve and service connect sleep apnea claims and appeals.
Lesson #4: More Veterans Should Be Able To Service Connect Sleep Apnea
I spent nearly a year researching Veterans and their Sleep Apnea claims. I talked to several doctors and sleep experts. I read hundreds of cases. I talked to hundreds of Veterans and read their C-Files to see where they went wrong.
I learned that to win your Sleep Apnea claim, you are going to have to put your Sleep Apnea Claim together right.
This is where I come in. I can teach you how to do that. I can teach you:
How Does A Sleep Study Work
Sleep disorders cause many troubling symptoms that can affect one’s mood, energy level, and overall health . Unfortunately, sleep disorders are notoriously because they often develop gradually over time and have symptoms that are difficult to recognize.
Accurate diagnosis is necessary to enable effective treatment for sleep disorders. A sleep study provides valuable insight into the causes of a person’s symptoms including which, if any, sleep disorder is present. Sleep studies are also used in people diagnosed with sleep disorders to monitor their response to treatment.
What Is A Polysomnogram
A PSG is a diagnostic tool used to determine if your patient has a sleep disorder. This test is conducted overnight at the sleep center or hospital.
This test monitors your patient’s sleep cycles and stages to identify any disturbances caused by their sleep disorder. Your patient will be connected to a variety of equipment to help monitor things like their:
- Brain activity
Through a PSG, you document the disorder your patient is suffering from.
Sleep Apnea And The Development Of Health Problems
To start, let’s recap what exactly sleep apnea is. Obstructive Sleep Apnea refers to a condition in which your airway completely or partially closes during sleep, thus depriving you of oxygen. Sleep apnea is most commonly treated with CPAP therapy, which delivers pressurized air to help keep your passageways open.
OSA is one of three types of sleep apnea—the other two being Central Sleep Apnea and Complex or Mixed Sleep Apnea, which is often known as CompSA to avoid confusion since it would have the same acronym as Central Sleep Apnea.
Lack of sleep directly affects the ability to process information and remain attentive. Studies show that being awake for 20 consecutive hours creates the same level of cognitive impairment as having a 0.10 blood alcohol content —for reference, you may know that most states’ legal limit is 0.08. Two-hundredths don’t make a difference in a lot of things, but when it comes to your ability to safely drive, it’s literally the difference between life or death. In addition, several other studies also back this up, including one where sleep-deprived participants were asked to drive a car in a simulator, which resulted in aggressive driving and a decreased ability to remain in control.
What Are The Effects Of Sleep Apnea
If left untreated, sleep apnea can result in a number of health problems including hypertension, stroke, arrhythmias, cardiomyopathy , heart failure, diabetes, obesity and heart attacks.
It’s likely that sleep apnea can cause arrhythmias and heart failure because if you have sleep apnea, you tend to have higher blood pressure. In fact, sleep apnea occurs in about 50% of people with heart failure or atrial fibrillation.
This is because sleep apnea can cause:
- Repeated episodes of oxygen lowering .
- Changes in carbon dioxide levels.
- Direct effects on the heart due to pressure changes within the chest.
- Increased levels of markers of inflammation.
With the high prevalence of sleep apnea in cardiac arrhythmias and heart failure , experts recommend that you don’t delay in seeking the advice of your physician.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/03/2020.
When To Go For A Sleep Test
There are a couple of signs that everyone should pay attention:
your are feeling tired despite getting more sleep than the amount that used to make you feel rested.
- your friends or family told you that you seem unusually sleepy.
- you are falling asleep at movies, at work, while driving, watching TV, at parties, despite getting many hours of sleep in the night.
- someone told you that you snore very loud or stop breathing in your sleep.
- sometimes you wake up gasping for breath.
- you have trouble getting a restful sleep for more than four or five weeks.
- you have a family member who has sleep apnea.
- someone told you that you make choking or snorting sounds during sleep.
- your bed partner is moving in another room because your sleep is very disruptive.
If you have these symptoms, it’s not a bad idea to see first a family or primary doctor. Maybe you have anxiety problems, or heart problems that may be your source of sleep trouble.
You might also take along a tape recording of your snoring.
However, primary care doctors are not well prepared about sleep science, and many of them can’t recognize the signs of many sleep disorders.
So, if you suspect you have a sleep disorder, it’s up to you to speak about this with your doctor. And don’t hesitate to ask for a referral to a sleep specialist, during your medical visit.
My Sleep Study
In this video, a man explains how was the sleep study for him:
How Untreated Sleep Apnea Affects You Head To Toe
The American Sleep Apnea Association estimates that 22 million Americans have sleep apnea. Of this number, about 80 percent are estimated to have moderate or severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea but are currently undiagnosed. Adding to that, roughly half of CPAP wearers stop using their device within one to three weeks of use, and you’re looking at a widespread problem.
Too many Americans mistake their sleep apnea symptoms for snoring or don’t take their symptoms seriously and just endure the poor sleep they are receiving. Why is this a problem? Insufficient sleep isn’t just a matter of feeling tired or groggy once in a while. Not getting enough quality sleep and ignoring the telltale signs of sleep apnea can lead to serious health problems. These conditions may hasten the onset of other illnesses and may even take years off of your life.
Untreated sleep apnea can affect literally almost your entire body, so let’s do a check-up and uncover all the ways that untreated sleep apnea impacts you and what you can do about it.