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What Is Mild Sleep Apnea

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What Is A Cpap Device And How Does It Work

What is the difference between mild and severe obstructive sleep apnoea?

A CPAP device is a machine that uses a hose and airtight nosepiece or mask to deliver a steady stream of air as you sleep. The air pressure helps keep your airway open, preventing pauses in breathing.

CPAP technology is constantly being updated and improved, and the new CPAP devices are lighter, quieter, and more comfortable than they used to be. So even if youve given up on them in the past, you owe it to yourself to give them a second look.

What Happens To Your Body When You Have Severe Apnea

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has defined mild, moderate and severe sleep apnea depending on apnea and hypopnea index:

  • mild sleep apnea: apnea index between 5-15
  • moderate sleep apnea: AHI between 16-30
  • severe apnea: AHI > 30

People with AHI > 30 have the most obvious symptoms of loud snoring, disturbed sleep and that affects their optimism and willingness to be treated.

They experience stress of living with a chronic disorder, that can diminish the quality of life.

The following video demonstrates what does severe sleep apnea looks like

Improving Sleep Apnea Oxygen Level

Patients with sleep apnea are usually treated with CPAP machines. If apnea episodes disappear, the oxygen levels will improve to normal levels.

How often should you use the CPAP?

If your doctor prescribed CPAP therapy, you should NEVER go a night EVER without a CPAP on or even take a nap without one.

More strategies to treat sleep apnea:

If your oxygen saturations drop significantly and persist during the night, you may benefit from overnight oxygen delivered by nasal masks or nasal prongs.

CPAP and Oxygen Levels During Sleep

You can have low oxygen levels during sleep even if you use the CPAP. This means that your CPAP doesn’t have the desired effect.

That’s why is important to monitor your oxygen and pulse rate.

To keep a better eye on your sleep apnea oxygen level you might consider purchasing a finger pulse oximeter.

Remember: don’t use inferior equipment to measure your well-being and don’t change anything without checking that information with a second opinion or proper equipment.

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What Is A Cpap Machine And How Does It Work

A CPAP device/machine stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. It is the backbone of CPAP therapy and is considered the gold standard for treating obstructive sleep apnea.

A CPAP machine is a small, rectangular box with a motorized fan inside and an adjacent humidifier – technically, a humidification chamber is optional, but most people use because lack of humidification while using CPAP devices can lead to irritation in the nasal passage and throat.

Connected to the CPAP device is a flexible tube that leads to a breathing mask. The hose is a lightweight and kept warm in order to reduce condensation. Among other things, too much condensation can lead to sanitation problems like, namely, mold growth.

Finally, the primary component in CPAP machines is a small fan inside. The small fan inside delivers gentle, positive pressure through a connected hose to the breathing mask. The result, no more lapses of breathing at night because the positive air pressure keeps your airway open. The pressure can be a little strange at first, but its rare that people report any long terms problems associated with it.

Cpap Therapy Improves Quality Of Life For Patients With Mild Sleep Apnea

Loads of facts inconnection with mild sleep apnea can be ...

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Three months of CPAP treatment improved the quality of life of patients with mild obstructive sleep apnea, according to results of the MERGE randomized controlled trial.

The findings suggest a need to consider treatment for mild OSA, the researchers concluded.

Patients with moderate to severe OSA get good benefit from CPAP treatment,, PhD, clinical research physiotherapist in the clinical and academic unit of sleep and breathing at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Royal Brompton Hospital, London, told Healio. However, some patients can have debilitating symptoms of OSA, including daytime sleepiness and fatigue, but their disease is only classified as mild when tested by a sleep monitor and standard diagnosis criteria. Prior to our study, there was little evidence to support the treatment of these mild patients.

The MERGE trial was conducted at 11 secondary care sleep centers in the United Kingdom. The researchers goal was to evaluate the effect of CPAP on the SF-36 vitality scale in patients with mild OSA . Kelly and colleagues scored polygraphy data from patients with mild OSA, based on the American Academy of Sleep Medicine 2007 and 2012 definitions.

At 3 months, change in SF-36 vitality scale was improved in the CPAP group by 7.5 points compared with standard care only , according to the abstract.

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What Are Some Central Sleep Apnea Treatment Options

Central sleep apnea treatment varies, depending on why the sleep apnea is occurring. For example, if central sleep apnea is caused by congestive heart failure, it would be treated by treating the congestive heart failure, Dr. Becker tells SELF. Other treatments include supplemental oxygen, CPAP, reducing the dosage for opioid medications, or a therapy called bilevel positive airway pressure . BiPAP is a form of airway pressure therapy that delivers pressure when you breathe in and a different amount of pressure when you breathe out.

Signs And Symptoms Of Sleep Apnea

Family members or bed partners often pick up on the signs of sleep apnea first. Many people with sleep apnea don’t know they’re snoring and gasping for breath at night. If you have any of the following signs, see your doctor:

  • daytime sleepiness
  • loud snoring followed by silent pauses
  • gasping or choking during sleep
  • morning headache
  • poor concentration or memory loss
  • lowered sex drive

Snoring by itself doesn’t necessarily mean that you have sleep apnea. It is true that loud snoring is common in people with this disorder, but there’s a big difference between simple snoring and sleep apnea.

Untreated sleep apnea can cause serious health problems. If it’s not treated, sleep apnea can lead to:

  • high blood pressure
  • work-related injuries

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Avoid Alcohol And Sleeping Pills

If you have trouble sleeping, try a cup of decaffeinated herbal tea or juice instead of unwinding with a glass of wine. Alcohol and certain medications can make throat muscles relax more than normal. As a result, airways can get blocked. Alcohol and medications can also make it harder for your brain to “wake up” and register a lack of oxygen in the body. This can cause longer and more serious pauses in breathing. If you find it hard to fall asleep, try reading a book or taking a warm bath.

Sleep Apnea Cardiovascular Risk And Metabolism

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Several studies have shown an association between sleep apnea and problems like type 2 diabetes , strokes , heart attacks and even a shortened lifespan, says Jun. Why this connection? For one thing, obesity is common in sleep apnea patients, and obesity greatly increases risks of diabetes, stroke and heart attack, he says. In most cases, obesity is the main culprit behind both conditions, Jun explains.

Still, its important to note that not everyone with sleep apnea is obese. Furthermore, evidence suggests an independent link between sleep apnea and diabetes. Our lab and others have shown that sleep apnea is associated with higher risks of diabetes, independent of obesity, and that sleep apnea can increase blood sugar levels, says Jun.

For people who are overweight or obese, weight loss is key for treating or avoiding sleep apnea. People who accumulate fat in the neck, tongue and upper belly are especially vulnerable to getting sleep apnea. This weight reduces the diameter of the throat and pushes against the lungs, contributing to airway collapse during sleep.

Women in particular should be careful as they age. While premenopausal women tend to put on weight in the hips and in the lower body instead of the belly, this shifts with time. Weight begins to accumulate in traditionally male areas like the tummy, and this leads to a greater chance of sleep apnea.

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Is Mild Sleep Apnea Dangerous

Even less severe forms of sleep apnea can pose risks to your health. A study in BMC Cardiovascular Disorders recognized that OSA is a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension and cardiovascular events such as acute coronary syndrome , finding that nearly 70 percent of those with mild OSA benefit from cardiac rehabilitation programs.

The Australian doctors found that the prevalence of OSA following ACS is high and likely to be problematic upon admission into CR programs, recommending routine screening for OSA to maximize the effectiveness of CR.

Sleep Apnea Causes And Risk Factors

While anyone can have sleep apnea, certain factors increase the risk:

  • Sex Men are much more likely to have sleep apnea than women, although after menopause, frequency in women increases.
  • Older age While sleep apnea can occur at any age, it is more common as you get older. According to the Wisconsin Sleep Cohort study, its prevalence peaks when people are in their 50s and 60s and then plateaus.
  • Weight The risk of sleep apnea is much higher in those who are overweight, and higher still in those who are obese.
  • Anatomical differences Physical attributes that can contribute to sleep apnea include a small upper airway, a small or receding jaw, a long soft palate, a high tongue position, a deviated septum, and enlarged tonsils and adenoids.
  • Smoking According to a study conducted by Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention, University of Wisconsin, Madison, smokers are three times more likely to have sleep apnea than those who have never smoked.
  • Neck circumference greater than 17 inches in men or 16 inches in women.

Allergies or other medical conditions that cause nasal congestion and blockage can also contribute to sleep apnea.

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Final Words From Well

  • Its important to note that mild apnea may not be as disruptive to your life as moderate to severe OSA, but it is still a problem to your health and well-being.
  • Mild symptoms should not be ignored as research shows that it can pose serious health risks . Therefore, its worth getting checked by a sleep specialist to see if you have this problem. Furthermore, look into treatments that could improve your symptoms and help you get better sleep.
  • This article is compiled from fact-based resources and only for informational purposes. About your condition, only your sleep specialist knows the best. Our ultimate recommendation is to get assessed by your board-certified sleep medicine physician to ensure that your condition is adequately treated.

Diagnosing And Treating Sleep Apnea For Better Health

Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Treatment In Pune &  PCMC

Its important to treat sleep apnea, because it can have long-term consequences for your health. While there have been some high-profile deaths linked to sleep apneasuch as with Judge Antonin Scalia Jun says that the true risk is from damage done over time.

Obstructive sleep apnea can range from mild to severe, based on a measurement system called the apnea-hypopnea index . The AHI measures the number of breathing pauses that you experience per hour that you sleep.

Obstructive sleep apnea is classified by severity:

  • Severe obstructive sleep apnea means that your AHI is greater than 30
  • Moderate obstructive sleep apnea means that your AHI is between 15 and 30
  • Mild obstructive sleep apnea means that your AHI is between 5 and 15

Johns Hopkins Home Care

We provide high quality, individualized care for patients of all ages where you feel most comfortable your home or community. Our services and equipment are designed to help you regain and retain a level of independence.

Whether or not you need treatment for sleep apnea depends on its severity, whether or not you have symptoms such as sleepiness and other health conditions. For example, if you have risk factors for heart disease, your doctor might opt to treat you even for mild sleep apnea. On the other hand, if you have a severe case of sleep apnea, your doctor might insist on treatment even if youre not sleepy.

Not very relaxing, right? Luckily, its treatable.

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Understanding Mild Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea and mild sleep apnea is a disorder described by repeated episodes of partial or total upper airway obstruction. It results in arousals from sleep and changes in oxygen levels during your sleep.

OSA is the number one reason why people visit a sleep specialist. It affects nearly 20 million Americans . Its even more prevalent in patients who are obese or have heart or metabolic conditions like diabetes.

The category of sleep apnea includes mild, moderate, and severe cases. Most population studies propose that about 60% of people with obstructive sleep apnea fall into mild category.

When untreated, OSA can lead you towards severe health problems such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke

If you have moderate to severe sleep apnea, there are many available information and treatment options. However, this article is compiled to give you all the answers to the questions related to sleep apnea.

Diagnostic Challenges Of Mild Osa

Obstructive sleep apnea is diagnosed based on the number of respiratory sleep disruptions per hour of sleep during an overnight sleep study. The more sleep interruptions you have the more severe the sleep apnea is. Interestingly, according to Harvard Medical School, most people with OSA fall in the mild category.

Unfortunately, most studies seem to focus on moderate and severe instances of sleep apnea, which doesnt really give doctors a lot of instruction when it comes to diagnosing mild sleep apnea. And if severity doesnt correlate with symptoms, a diagnosis of mild OSA might not be considered.

But diagnosing OSA is vital because according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, undiagnosed or untreated sleep apnea can lead to serious health complications, including heart attack, diabetes, cancer, and cognitive and behavioral disorders.

Generally, a diagnosis of OSA starts with complete medical history. Your doctor will ask you about daytime sleepiness, if you snore, your sleep habits, and the quality of your sleep. They will also examine your head and neck to look for physical signs of sleep apnea.

A polysomnogram is usually done if your doctor decides your sleep issues warrant further testing. Additional testing might be done depending on the results of the sleep study.

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Factors Affecting The Pressure Setting

The anatomy of the upper airway and the nature of the airway obstruction has the biggest role in determining the required CPAP pressure setting.

If sleep apnea occurs because of a blocked nose due to allergies or a deviated septum, a collapsing soft palate, or a tongue that falls back into the airway, differing amounts of air are required to push these tissues out of the way.

In addition, being overweight or obese may exacerbate things. In fact, when people lose about 10% of their body weight, it may be necessary to adjust the CPAP settings by turning them down.

Alcohol, medications that relax airway muscles , and sleeping on your back may all transiently add to your pressure needs. Finally, REM sleep towards morning may relax muscles and exacerbate sleep apnea as well.

Lifestyle Treatments For Sleep Apnea

What happens during obstructive sleep apnea?

For mild cases of sleep apnea, lifestyle changes may be enough to treat the issue. Your doctor will let you know if thats the right starting point. But even if you are prescribed a medical treatment, the following changes can help reduce your sleep apnea episodes and improve your sleep.

Lose weight. If you are overweight, losing weight can have an enormous impact. While it is usually not a total cure, it can reduce the number of breathing episodes you experience, reduce your blood pressure, and decrease daytime sleepiness. Even a small amount of weight loss can open up your throat and improve sleep apnea symptoms.

Exercise. Even when exercise does not lead to weight loss, it can decrease your sleep apnea breathing episodes and improve your alertness and energy during the day. Aerobic exercise, resistance training, and yoga are all good choices for strengthening the muscles in your airways and improving breathing.

Sleep on your side. Lying on your back is the worst position for sleep apnea, as it causes the jaw, tongue, and other soft tissues to drop back toward the throat, narrowing your airway. Sleeping on your stomach isnt much better, since lying face down or twisting your head to the side both obstruct breathing. Lying on your side, on the other hand, helps keep your airway open. If you find side sleeping uncomfortable or you tend to roll on to your back after youre asleep, countered side pillows or body pillows may help.

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Other Positive Airway Pressure Breathing Devices

In addition to CPAP, there are other devices that a sleep specialist may recommend for sleep apnea treatment.

Expiratory positive airway pressure single-use devices fit over the nostrils to help keep the airway open and are smaller, less intrusive than CPAP machines. These may benefit people with mild-to-moderate obstructive sleep apnea.

Bilevel positive airway pressure devices can be used for those who are unable to adapt to using CPAP, or for central sleep apnea sufferers who need assistance for a weak breathing pattern. This device automatically adjusts the pressure while youre sleeping, providing more pressure when you inhale, less when you exhale. Some BiPAP devices also automatically deliver a breath if the mask detects that you havent taken one for a certain number of seconds.

Adaptive servo-ventilation devices can be used for treating central sleep apnea as well as obstructive sleep apnea. The ASV device stores information about your normal breathing pattern and automatically uses airflow pressure to prevent pauses in your breathing while youre asleep.

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