Does Nasal Congestion And Allergies Cause Sleep Apnea
When you have nasal congestion, you are unable to breathe properly at any time throughout the day. However, at night, you will likely notice that it is more difficult to fall asleep because of stuffed or runny sinuses. This blockage prevents you from staying asleepjust as with sleep apnea. One of your first lines of defense against nasal congestion is a NetiPot, which helps clear your nasal passages. After talking to your doctor, if a few rounds with a NetiPot does not work, then you should seek medical care as it may be sinusitis.
But are sleep apnea and sinus infections related, and can you avoid sleep apnea by treating sinusitis?
OSA is a sleep disorder while sinusitis is a temporary infection. Once you have successfully treated sinus problems, you will not suffer from breathing problems at night that were caused by a sinus infection. This means that sinusitis will eventually clear itself or may be treated with antibiotics. Whereas OSA is a disorder that is manageable and relatively benign but for which there is not a medication-based cure.
Note that there are two types of nasal congestions that can increase your risk factor for OSA:
To be diagnosed with OSA, you will need to get a sleep study through a medical provider at home or in a sleep study clinic. Based on your sleep test results, your doctor may recommend a CPAP machine for treating your sleep apnea.
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Central Sleep Apnea Happens When The Brain Is Involved
Central sleep apnea is less common than obstructive sleep apnea. It can also be trickier to diagnose and treat. Unlike obstructive sleep apnea, which is caused by a mechanical problem that blocks the airway, central sleep apnea occurs because the brain is not sending the proper messages to the muscles that control breathing. Central sleep apnea is caused by a neurological reason, explains Dr. Capasso.
What Happens When The Airway Is Blocked Or Partially Blocked
When sufficient air doesn’t get into a person’s lungs, the level of oxygen in the blood falls and the level of carbon dioxide rises. After a few minutes of not breathing, a person may die. Fortunately, with OSA, after a period of not breathing, the brain wakes up, and breathing resumes. This period of time can range from a few seconds to over a minute. When breathing resumes, the size of the airway remains reduced in size. The tissues surrounding this narrow airway vibratewhat we call snoring. In other words, snoring is a sign of an obstructed airway, but it does mean that a person is breathing silence might indicate that the airway is completely blocked.
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What Are The Types Of Sleep Apnea
There are three types of sleep apnea:
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea : OSA occurs when the airway at the back of the throat becomes physically blocked. That obstruction causes temporary lapses in breath.
- Central Sleep Apnea : CSA happens because there is a problem with the brains system for controlling muscles involved in respiration, leading to slower and shallower breathing.
- Mixed Sleep Apnea: When a person has both OSA and CSA at the same time, it is referred to as mixed sleep apnea or complex sleep apnea.
Because the underlying causes are distinct, there are important differences in the symptoms, causes, and treatments of OSA and CSA.
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What Is The Connection Between Sinusitis And Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea and sinusitis are both health conditions that reduce your quality of sleep by disrupting your breathing. While Obstructive Sleep Apnea blocks the throat, a sinus inflammation blocks the nasal passages. The result of either condition is an inability to get a good nights sleep because you were unable to breathe. When you are experiencing those disruptions, your brain is telling your body to go to sleep. When this happens on a regular basis, it leads to chronic sleep loss and fatigue.
Chronic sleep loss also leads to a whole host of other health problems from high blood pressure to diabetes. If you think you are suffering from sleep apnea, sinusitis, or both, the best way to combat this and regain your ability to sleep well is by learning more about the two, how they are related, how they are not related, and finding a doctor to help you sleep better.
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Obstructive Vs Central Sleep Apnea: Key Differences And Treatment Options
Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that affects thousands of individuals. With this condition, you have an interruption in your breathing while sleeping that occurs through repetitive pauses, referred to as apneic events. There are several types of sleep apnea, but two prominent types include obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.
As a sleep technologist, its important for you to know the key differences between central and obstructive apnea so you know how to best treat your patients who may have one or the other disorder.
Pathophysiology Of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
The major factors that play a potential role in the development of OSA are: decrease in the forces of the pharyngeal dilators, the negative inspiratory pressure generated by the diaphragm, and improper upper airway anatomy, the element most effectively addressed by surgery. The common sites of obstruction are located in the pharynx. Airway failure often occurs when patients sleep on their back and the base of the tongue adheres to the posterior pharyngeal wall and soft palate. Elongated or excessive tissue of the soft palate, a large tongue, swollen uvula, large tonsils, and redundant pharyngeal mucosa are the most common reasons of snoring and OSA. The accomplishment of airway surgery depends on an appropriate diagnosis of the sites of obstruction and the perfect selection of procedures to address these sites .
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What It Is How To Recognize It Why It Matters And How It Can Be Treated
Do you find yourself tossing and turning, snoring, with difficulty breathing at night? Its estimated that obstructive sleep apnea affects between 2-9% of adults in the United States, though the majority of cases go undiagnosed.
Many people who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea awake not feeling rested from the night before, which can snowball into additional unwanted side effects. While obstructive sleep apnea is typically a long-term disease, it can be managed through a wide variety of treatments. On this page, well walk you through what obstructive sleep apnea is, including common symptoms and causes, with information to learn more about diagnosis and treatment.
How To Properly Score Each Type Of Apnea
The distinction between central and obstructive hypopneas got lost somewhere along the line, and labs started to score and report them as a single entity. This has changed.
The goal of a sleep professional is to treat your patients and ensure their breathing patterns are stabilized. For you to do this, you have to have the proper equipment. Where CPAP works well for obstructive apneas and hypopnea events, other treatment modalities work better for most central events. Central apnea episodes are typically better controlled with either Bi-level pressure support or additional backup support through a Bi-level ST.
But, central hypopneas aren’t always controlled by any of these devices. For a more complex case of central hypopnea, you’ll have to give your patients Adaptive Servo Ventilation which is a more advanced therapy.
If you don’t know the difference between central and obstructive hypopneas, you’ll find it difficult to determine which device is best suited for the job.
Your patients that have complex breathing patterns might not have central apneas but may have central hypopneas involved in the waxing and waning pattern of breathing. When you don’t have enough documentation on central events, it can be difficult to obtain insurance coverage.
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Obstructive Sleep Apnea In Children
While some types of snoring can be considered benign in adults, snoring or noisy breathing is never normal in children. Obstructive sleep apnea in children is often overlooked in kids because the symptoms are more different in children than they are in adults and they tend to be more subtle. Not all children with OSA snore, and when they are tired they rarely nap, instead they become hyperactive or develop behavioral problems. These behavioral problems may manifest themselves as irritability, lack of concentration, easy distractibility, and acting out which can lead to problems at school. Additionally, many children with obstructive sleep apnea are not overweight, so they don’t fit the stereotypical picture of some with sleep apnea.
Children with medical conditions impacting the shape of their face, nose and airway or neuromuscular system are at a higher risk of developing sleep apnea. Parents of children with disorders such as Down Syndrome should be aware of the elevated risk and should be evaluated when there has been a change in behavior that may be related to OSA. Common symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea in children may include:
Key Points About Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Don’t risk falling asleep in a dangerous situation, such as while driving.
Try to set up an appointment with your doctor if your fatigue continues.
If obstructive sleep apnea persists over a long period without treatment, you’re at risk for major health problems and serious events. These can include cardiovascular problems like heart failure and increased blood pressure.
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Know Your Sleep Apnea Risk Level
Sleep apnea is a serious condition that affects more than 30 million Americans who suffer from lack of restorative sleep.
The majority are undiagnosed and unaware of their condition.
Typical symptoms include heavy snoring, excessive daytime sleepiness or fatigue, difficulty with concentration or memory, among many others.
Untreated, sleep apnea can lead to serious health consequences.
What Are The Treatments For Sleep Apnea
If you have symptoms of sleep apnea, you should make sure to talk with a doctor. Without understanding the root causes of your sleep apnea, it is difficult to treat. When necessary, the doctor can recommend an overnight sleep study to analyze your sleep, including your breathing.
If a person is diagnosed with OSA or CSA, treatment is often effective at improving sleep and reducing the risks of long-term health complications. A doctor familiar with a patients situation is in the best position to address potential benefits and risks of treatments and make specific recommendations.
Lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, reducing use of sedatives, and sleeping on your side, can resolve some cases of OSA. Another common treatment is nightly use of a continuous positive airway pressure or bi-level positive airway pressure machine. These devices push air through a mask and into the airway to keep it open during sleep.
Some types of mouthpieces that hold the jaw or tongue in a specific position are an option for people with certain anatomical features that trigger mild OSA. In addition, though usually not the first treatment option, surgery to remove tissue and expand the airway can be considered. Medications may be prescribed to help with daytime sleepiness in people with this symptom.
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Getting Tested For Sleep Apnoea
If a GP thinks you might have sleep apnoea, they may refer you to a specialist sleep clinic for tests.
At the clinic, you may be given devices that check things like your breathing and heartbeat while you sleep.
You’ll be asked to wear these overnight so doctors can check for signs of sleep apnoea.
You can usually do this at home, but sometimes you may need to stay in the clinic overnight.
The test can show if you have sleep apnoea and how severe it is. This is based on how often your breathing stops while you sleep .
Your AHI score shows how severe your sleep apnoea is:
- AHI of 5 to 14 mild
- AHI of 15 to 30 moderate
- AHI over 30 severe
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.
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What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea is when something blocks part or all of your upper airway while you sleep. Your diaphragm and chest muscles have to work harder to open your airway and pull air into your lungs. Your breath can become very shallow, or you may even stop breathing briefly. You usually start to breathe again with a loud gasp, snort, or body jerk. You may not sleep well, but you probably won’t know that itâs happening.
The condition can also lower the flow of oxygen to your organs and cause uneven heart rhythms.
What Are The Symptoms Of Sleep Apnea
All three types of sleep apnea share certain common symptoms:
- Disrupted breathing in which a persons respiration can become labored or even stop for up to a minute at a time
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Limited attention span or difficulty thinking clearly
Many of these symptoms arise because of poor sleep and decreased oxygen levels that occur as a result of interrupted breathing.
Some additional symptoms are connected to obstructive sleep apnea:
- Snoring, including snoring that is especially loud and involves gasping, choking, or snorting that may cause a person to briefly wake up
- Morning sore throat or dry mouth
- Frequent need to wake up to urinate
Chronic snoring is the most common symptom of OSA, but that doesnt mean that everyone who snores has sleep apnea. Snoring is not a frequent symptom in people with CSA.
In general, a person with sleep apnea is not aware of their breathing problems at night. For that reason, they often only find out about the issue from a bed partner, family member, or roommate. Excessive daytime sleepiness is the most likely symptom to be noticed by people with sleep apnea that live alone.
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Mild Sleep Apnea Symptoms
A person is given a diagnosis of mild sleep apnea based on an overnight sleep study called a polysomnography. Polysomnography records blood oxygen levels, brain waves, breathing patterns, eye movement, heart rate, leg movement, sleep stages, snoring, and more.
If you havent taken a sleep study and your symptoms are mild, it might be harder for you to know you are having sleep issues. But it is important to know what symptoms mild sleep apnea might cause because some of them can have a serious effect on your health over time.
People with mild apnea might snore. While snoring usually isnt cause for any alarm, consistent and loud snoring is a sign of sleep apnea. Of course, not everyone who snores has sleep apnea.
Sleepiness is another common symptom of mild sleep apnea. People with mild sleep apnea dont realize how much their sleep is being interrupted at night. All these interruptions can cause you to feel sleepy throughout your day.
Sleepiness can also cause you to have low energy and drowsiness, and might affect your cognition
High blood pressure is also common with mild sleep apnea. This is because when oxygen levels fall, brain receptors are triggered. They send messages to the blood vessels to increase oxygen to the heart and brain so that the body can keep doing its job.
Additional sleep apnea symptoms that someone with mild sleep apnea might experience include:
Study Explores Link Between Obstructive Sleep Apnea And Covid
Obstructivesleepapnea is a common sleep-related breathing disorder that causes individuals to repeatedly start and stop breathing while the
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