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What Can You Do If You Have Sleep Apnea

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Mild Sleep Apnea Diagnosis

How to know if you have sleep apnea

If you have mild sleep apnea, it may be one of the rare instances where you can end up mitigating enough symptoms from sleep apnea by making a few lifestyle changes and managing environmental risk factors, such as exposure to allergens, exposure to potential irritants to your lungs, and alcohol consumption.

For instance, weight loss has proven to benefit sleep apnea as has exercising.

Weight loss and sleep apnea dont necessarily have a direct causal link, meaning research hasnt been very conclusive on whether or not weight loss actually helps reduce its symptoms and much less any specific studies about mild OSA.

This is where pesky genes come into play. Losing a significant amount of weight has helped in reducing the symptoms of sleep apnea for some people, but the real answer to your particular case will truly be contingent on your individual circumstances and not because of any established biomedical link between the two.

Cpap Benefits Your Overall Health

Consistent, high-quality sleep is fundamental to your mental, emotional, and physical health. When you sleep well, you can maintain the energy, focus, and motivation you need to manage your daily life and long-term well-being.And if you have sleep apnea, CPAP therapy helps you get the quality sleep youve been missing. Get a home test today, and get on your way to a restful nights sleep!Sources:

How Is Sleep Apnea Treated

If your doctor finds that you have sleep apnea, theyâll suggest treatment based on how serious your condition is. For mild cases, you may only need to make lifestyle changes. They may ask you to lose weight, stop smoking, or treat nasal allergies .

If these donât ease your symptoms or if you have a moderate to severe case of sleep apnea, your doctor will recommend other treatments:

Continuous positive airway pressure . This machine sends air pressure through a mask while youâre asleep. This air pressure is greater than that of the air around you, which helps keep your upper airway passages open to stop apnea and snoring. If your CPAP mask is uncomfortable, talk to your doctor about other options to help you sleep well.

Other airway pressure devices. If a CPAP machine doesnât work for you, you can try another device that will automatically adjust the pressure while you sleep, called auto-CPAP. BPAP units, which supply bilevel positive airway pressure, are another option that gives your body more pressure when you inhale and less when you exhale.

Oral appliances. You can also wear an oral appliance that can help keep your throat open. While CPAP is generally more effective, oral appliances may be easier to use. Your dentist can help you find one thatâs right for you.

Supplemental oxygen. You may need to use extra oxygen when you sleep if you have central sleep apnea. There are many forms of oxygen and different devices that can help deliver it to your lungs.

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How Common Is Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is estimated to affect between 2-9% of adults in the United States, but many cases are believed to go undiagnosed, which fits with studies that have found considerably higher rates of OSA. Precise prevalence is hard to determine because studies have used different criteria for diagnosing the condition. A consistent finding, though, is that OSA affects men more than women. It can occur in people of any age but is more common in older adults.

Central sleep apnea has been found to affect around .9% of adults over the age of 40. It is found much more frequently in men than in women.

As this data demonstrates, OSA is much more common than CSA. For this reason, when people talk about sleep apnea, they are generally referring to OSA.

Does Mild Sleep Apnea Need To Be Treated

How to Recognize Sleep Apnea and What You Can Do About It ...

This is a hot button topic amongst expertsso much so that in the same 2007 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine there were two articles debating each side of this coinor should we say pillow?

One article argued that CPAP treatment, which is a common treatment for sleep apnea is not needed for mild OSA and does not significantly benefit symptoms associated with it.

Nonetheless, the article is not against all forms of treatment but instead noted that medical interventions should be used first before turning to CPAP therapy. Depending on factors contributing to mild OSA, the article explained that treatments could include interventions such as weight loss, nasal corticosteroids for allergic rhinitis, or positional therapy for supine OSA.

The other article argued that mild sleep apnea should be treated. Their reasoning for treating mild OSA was that it has symptoms that can contribute to other health conditions, and it can be treated to improve outcomes.

Since those two articles ignited that conversation, other similar debates have emerged. Some express indifference but most support that it cant really hurt if you treat your mild OSA.

Regardless or not, discuss the results of your sleep study with your sleep specialist. CPAP therapy can improve your mild OSA, but there may also be other ways to that may be beneficial to start with.

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Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Device

In addition to lifestyle changes, the most effective treatment available is a mask worn at night that transmits increased air pressure into the airway to prevent the throat from collapsing. This is called nasal continuous positive airway pressure .

CPAP is the most common treatment for sleep apnoea. It is non-invasive and uses a small pump that blows air through tubing into a mask that is worn on the nose and/or mouth. This air pressure goes into the back of the throat holding it open, even if the throat muscles have relaxed too much during sleep.

The key to CPAP treatment is finding a mask and machine that match your needs.

What Should I Do If I Am Snoring And Sleepy

The first thing to do is to make sure the sleep study was a reasonably normal night of sleep. The monitors involved with a sleep study can often lead to sleep disruption, leading some patients to feel that they never slept normally. My own general rule is that I do not want the sleep study night to be someones best or worst night of sleep. I want it to reflect more of an average night. If the sleep study was not a typical night, we may actually repeat the sleep study.

If we think the sleep study results are accurate, we think about treatment options. I personally have the same categories of treatments for snoring and sleep apnea. In some cases, conservative treatment such as weight loss, sleeping on ones side, or avoiding alcohol within 2-3 hours of bedtime work well. Positive airway pressure therapy can be very helpful in sleep apnea but is not typically used for snoring without sleep apnea.

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How A Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Machine Changed My Life

Gary lives with obstructive sleep apnoea . He shares his journey of OSA and how getting a CPAP machine changed his life.

I started to show signs of OSA in my 30s. I remember feeling overwhelmingly tired, constantly yawning and even falling asleep when cutting the grass. At the time I was working seven days a week, so I put it down to being overworked.

In the summer 2015 things went downhill fast. I was falling asleep at work, at home even getting my hair cut! Plus, my wife had noticed I stopped breathing, with pauses up to and over 30 seconds, while I was sleeping. My symptoms were worsening and badly impacting my wellbeing. The fatigue was overwhelming.

Thankfully, in November 2016 my GP arranged me to have a sleep test and I was diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnoea .

I saw my diagnosis as a positive step. Now I knew what was wrong, I could take steps to deal with it and hopefully improve my symptoms. Three days after diagnosis I was given a CPAP machine. I count myself lucky as I took to it with few problems. I slept like a baby and as if by magic, the snoring stopped! I had a few teething problems with leaks and learnt very quickly how to minimise them.

After a week of using the CPAP machine, I became aware of just how much OSA has been affecting me. I was already feeling huge benefits and considered the machine a life changer and probably a life saver as well.

Cpap Therapy For Mild Sleep Apnea

Do You Have Sleep Apnea? Easy Self-Test You Can Do At Home

If you have mild sleep apnea and prefer to try CPAP therapy, thats always indeed an option. Your doctor may advise you about the other options we mentioned, but CPAP therapy is also an option.

In order to receive a prescription for a CPAP machine, youll first discuss your symptoms with your sleep apnea doctor who will either refer you to a sleep specialist or schedule you to have a sleep study at home or in a lab.

Both usually require sleeping a night hooked up to different equipment that measures some vitals in order to help determine your diagnosis. Once you finish the test, the doctor reviews the results with you and may write you a prescription for a CPAP machine. The prescription will also have the amount of pressure that the machine should supply.

When you are ready for a CPAP machine, you can typically choose between a CPAP that has a fixed pressure rating or an APAP machine, which uses algorithms to automatically adjust the pressure for you based on what its detecting your sleep and breathing is doing.

An APAP has the added bonus that it can also be changed to CPAP mode and be set to a specific pressure. On the other hand, a CPAP machine cant auto-adjust like an APAP can, so youd need to discuss with your doctor which machine type is best for you.

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How To Spot The Symptoms Of Sleep Apnea

Snoring may be the most well-known symptom of sleep apnea, but its not the only one. Other symptoms include:

  • Gasping or choking during sleep
  • Experiencing pauses when you breathe at night
  • Mood issues
  • Waking up throughout the night to go to the bathroom

If you have any of these symptoms, or have newly-diagnosed atrial fibrillation and high blood pressure with or without daytime sleepiness, its important to talk to your doctor about the possibility of sleep apnea, says Mendez. Women often have insomnia but not snoring, and some people get tipped off that they might have a sleep problem because of an activity tracker like a Fitbit, he says. Bottom line: Be open to the possibility of sleep apnea, even if you dont think you present in the typical way.

If your doctor suspects you have sleep apnea, he or she can then order you an at-home sleep apnea test, which eliminates the need to go to a sleep center to be analyzed, says Mendez. Its far more convenient and accessible to patients. Getting this test could potentially be a lifesaving decision, he says.

How Can Assisted Nighttime Breathing Help

therapy is the most common treatment for obstructive sleep and is regarded as the standard treatment. CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure. The therapy involves wearing a breathing mask while sleeping. Depending on the model, the mask covers either both the mouth and nose, or just the nose. Treatment with nasal pillows, where two soft plastic inserts are placed directly inside the nostrils, is also an option.

In therapy, air is blown into the airways using mild air pressure while you are sleeping. The air pressure is created by a small pump which is attached to the mask by a tube. This incoming air keeps the upper airways open, significantly decreasing the number of breathing pauses, increasing blood oxygen levels, and improving the quality of sleep. The snoring problems usually stop, too.

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What Happens When You Stop Breathing

When you stop breathing, your heart rate also tends to drop the longer your body is deprived of oxygen. Then, your involuntary reflexes cause you to startle awake at the end of that period of not breathing. When this occurs, your heart rate tends to accelerate quickly and your blood pressure rises.

These are changes that take place acutely when you stop breathing. However, your body starts to experience chronic effects if you experience frequent apnea. Data suggests increased risk, particularly when you stop breathing roughly 30 times or more per hour. But there is likely a risk at even lower frequency rates.

For example, your blood pressure tends to go up, your heart walls thicken due to increased workload and the structure of your heart changes. It tends to become stiffer and less flexible because there are more fibrous cells growing in between the muscle cells.

All of those things increase the risk that you can have either atrial or ventricular arrhythmias. They also tend to reduce the function of the heart so that its less efficient at pumping blood.

Degrees Of Severity Of Sleep Apnoea

Do You Have Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

The severity of sleep apnoea depends on how often your breathing is interrupted. As a guide:

  • normal sleep fewer than 5 interruptions per hour
  • mild sleep apnoea between 5 and 15 interruptions per hour
  • moderate sleep apnoea between 15 and 30 interruptions per hour
  • severe sleep apnoea more than 30 interruptions per hour.

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Am I Healthy Enough To Donate A Kidney

Your doctor will do some tests to find out for sure. Theyâll check your blood and urine, and may also do an ultrasound or take X-rays of your kidneys. You may not be able to donate if you have medical issues like diabetes or high blood pressure.

If your doctor gives you the green light, theyâll schedule you for surgery. You can expect to take 4 to 6 weeks to recover. Be sure to line up someone to help you during that time.

You dont usually have to change your routine or even your diet to get ready for surgery.

How Can I Sleep Better With Sleep Apnea

  • The most common recommendation from doctors is to lose weight for people with sleep apnea.
  • Improve your energy level, strengthen your heart, and sleep apnea by practicing yoga regularly.
  • Make sure you are sleeping in the right position
  • Make sure you use a humidifier.
  • You should avoid drinking and smoking.
  • Appliances that can be used for oral purposes.
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    The Most Common Symptoms Of Sleep Apnea

    The nine most common signs of sleep apnea include:

  • Loud snoring, which is more often seen in obstructive sleep apnea
  • Times where your bed partner notices you stop breathing
  • Waking abruptly with shortness of breath, which is more often seen in central sleep apnea
  • Having a dry or sore throat when you awake
  • Difficulty staying asleep
  • More daytime sleepiness, which can lead to work-related mishaps or traffic accidents
  • Problems with attention and concentration
  • Getting up to urinate during the night
  • Irritability
  • The body wants to breathe more than anything else and does whatever it can to make sure your airway doesnt close, says Dr. Lance. That means not getting into the very deep stages of sleep where the airway relaxes and can close.

    Sleep apnea is seldom fatal by itself. However, it can increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, obesity and diabetes. Additionally, it is linked to worsening heart failure and irregular heartbeats. If you have sleep apnea, it can making treating chronic diseases complicated, too.

    The best way to know if you have sleep apnea is to undergo a sleep pattern study as part of your initial work-up.

    A doctor should be involved, Dr. Lance says. You really don’t know the severity of sleep apnea until you test for it.

    How Is Sleep Apnoea Treated

    Can You Have Sleep Apnea Without Snoring?

    Treating sleep apnoea will help you sleep more easily, and may reduce the risks.

    For people with mild sleep apnoea, sleeping on your side , losing weight and decreasing the amount of alcohol drunk during the evening may be all that is needed.

    Other options may help, including:

    • avoiding sleeping tablets, which can make sleep apnoea worse
    • quitting smoking if you smoke
    • using nasal decongestant sprays, if nasal congestion bothers you

    For people with moderate to severe sleep apnoa, more active treatment may be required, including:

    • an oral appliance fitted by your dentist, such as special mouthguards or splints to wear while you are sleeping this usually works well for mild sleep apnoea
    • a continuous positive airway pressure pump, which feeds pressurised air into a face mask to hold your throat open while you sleep this is often used for moderate to severe sleep apnoea
    • surgery, if you have severe sleep apnoea

    If you think you may have sleep apnoea, see your doctor. You may be referred to a sleep disorders specialist and asked to participate in an overnight sleep study. This may be done at home or under supervision in a sleep laboratory. Please consult your doctor or a sleep clinic for further information.

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    Do I Need A Cpap Machine For Mild Sleep Apnea

    If you have mild sleep apnea, its possible you dont need a CPAP machine. Some home remedies might be able to help you first. As we notated earlier, CPAP therapy isnt always the first line of treatment for mild sleep apnea, but it should not be completely ruled out either.

    Normally, when someone is told they snore, the first thing they do is research what they can do to fix the issue without visiting a doctor. Some of these CPAP alternatives include:

  • Positional Therapy. This helps you get acclimated to a new sleeping position.
  • Oral Appliances. These temporarily move your jaw slightly to minimize airway collapse.
  • Weight Loss. Losing weight may mean losing neck circumference and excess fatty tissue in the throat.
  • Inspire Therapy. This involves getting a device implanted under your skin as an outpatient procedure. At night, you turn it on and stimulates the muscles that would normally not move and cause your airway to collapse.
  • Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty Surgery. Some people with sleep apnea consider surgery to trim away the excess tissue in the throat through a process called a uvulopalatopharyngoplasty or UPPP. This procedure is a last resort and only posited if a person with sleep apnea cannot tolerate CPAP therapy.
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