Thursday, May 26, 2022
HomeSleep ApneaWhat Is Sleep Apnea Mean

What Is Sleep Apnea Mean

- Advertisment -

Other Positive Airway Pressure Breathing Devices

What Is Sleep Apnea?

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.

What Is A Cpap Device And How Does It Work

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.

How Do I Know If I Have Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea symptoms can vary from person to person, range from mild to severe and can be felt during the day and at night. The most common symptoms of sleep apnea are listed below but keep in mind that although you may experience several of these warning signs, until you get a sleep test to confirm, it doesnt necessarily mean that you have sleep apnea.

Read Also: How To Use Sleep Analysis On Iphone Health App

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.

Why Dont I Remember Waking Up During An Event

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

During a sleep apnea event, your body might wake up from the deep levels of sleep required to feel rested, but doesnt wake you up to a conscious level typically.

Hopefully, after reading this article, you now know the difference between apnea vs hypopnea. If you have any questions about some of the terminology, be sure to leave a comment.

Don’t Miss: Tracking Sleep With Fitbit Flex

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.

Getting Used To Your Cpap Device

Ease into it. Start by using your CPAP device for short periods. Try wearing it for a half hour or an hour while sitting up in bed watching TV or reading a book. Once youve gotten used to that, try using it lying down or when napping.

Use the ramp setting. Most devices can be programmed to start slowly and gradually increase air pressure. The goal is to be asleep before the machine reaches your prescribed pressure setting. Most people find this makes falling asleep much easier and more comfortable.

Reset the machine if air flow wakes you. If a high-pressure stream of air wakes you up, turn the CPAP device on and off to restart the ramp setting.

Read Also: Does The Garmin Vivofit 4 Track Sleep

How Does Sleep Apnea Oxygen Level Affect The Body

Any value of blood oxygen level bellow 92% is abnormal. However, the number of desaturations and the time spent with abnormal oxygen levels is important.

For example, if you only desaturated below 92% once or twice during a 7 hour sleep, and the desaturation level lasted only a couple of seconds, it’s not a reason for worry.

Your body will be seriously affected when you’ll have long term low oxygen levels. This can lead to:

  • heart rhythm problems,
  • stroke.

Increasing the pressure on the right side of the heart

The right side of the heart has the role of pumping blood through the lungs, which requires a much lower pressure.

A higher pressure can lead to severe fluid buildup in the body that can cause life-threatening shortness of breath, heart failure and even death.

Please call your doctor urgently if you experience chest pain or shortness of breath that is not relieved by rest.

Who Is Most At Risk For Sleep Apnea

What Causes Sleep Apnea and How Do You Treat It?

Although sleep apnea can affect people of all ages, men and women of all sizes, it is more frequently diagnosed in men over 50 years of age who are overweight. The most common risk factors for sleep apnea include:

Age: adults older than 50, however you can be much younger and still have untreated sleep apnea

Gender: men are more likely to be diagnosed than women

Weight: people who are overweight

Genetics: someone with a naturally smaller airway than the average body

Smoking and Alcohol: the harmful effects can increase the risks

Recommended Reading: Is Fitbit Charge 3 Sleep Tracker Accurate

What Are The Causes Of Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when a persons airway becomes blocked during sleep. Multiple factors have been found to increase the risk of blockage and OSA:

  • Anatomical characteristics. The size and positioning of a persons neck, jaw, tongue, tonsils, and other tissue near the back of the throat can directly affect airflow.
  • Obesity. Being overweight is a leading cause of OSA and may be an underlying risk factor in up to 60% of cases. Obesity contributes to anatomical narrowing of the airway, and research has found that a 10% increase in weight can equate to a six-fold increase in OSA risk.

Related Reading

  • Sleeping on your back. This sleeping position makes it easier for tissue to collapse around the airway and cause blockages.
  • Nasal congestion. People whose ability to breathe through the nose is reduced because of congestion are more likely to experience OSA.
  • Hormone abnormalities. Hormone conditions like hypothyroidism and acromegaly may increase the risk of OSA by causing swelling of tissue near the airway and/or contributing to a persons risk of obesity.

In CSA, breathing is affected in a different way than in OSA. Instead of an obstruction causing breathing lapses, the problem arises in how the brain communicates with the muscles responsible for respiration. In particular, the brain stem fails to adequately perceive the levels of carbon dioxide in the body, leading to breathing that is slower and shallower than it should be.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea Is The Most Common Subtype Of The Condition

The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea, sometimes referred to as OSA. With OSA, the throat muscles in the back of your throat, which naturally become more relaxed during sleep, collapse too much to allow for normal breathing.

The throat muscles support the soft tissues in the back of the throat such as the soft palate, the uvula, the tonsils, and tongue so when those muscles collapse too much, those tissues can fall back into the throat, partially or completely blocking the normal flow of air in your airway. When the airway is blocked partially the person may start to snore, which is why this symptom is common in OSA.

When your brain senses that you arent getting enough oxygen, it signals your body to wake up enough so that you can reopen your airway, and you may gasp for air during the night. Simply put, having obstructive sleep apnea means that not enough air can get into lungs at night, and your brain wakes you up to breathe, says Robson Capasso, MD, chief of sleep surgery and associate professor of otolaryngology and head and neck surgery at Stanford University School of Medicine in California.

Doctors diagnose OSA using a sleep test that measures your body and brain activity during sleep, which is conducted either at home or at a sleep lab.

Your doctor may also advise you to lose weight and to avoid sleeping on your back, to prevent gravity from further pushing your tongue, tonsils, and other soft tissues in your throat into your airway.

Don’t Miss: Sleep Sensitivity Fitbit

Dreaming And Rem Sleep

We typically spend more than 2 hours each night dreaming. Scientists do not know much about how or why we dream. Sigmund Freud, who greatly influenced the field of psychology, believed dreaming was a safety valve for unconscious desires. Only after 1953, when researchers first described REM in sleeping infants, did scientists begin to carefully study sleep and dreaming. They soon realized that the strange, illogical experiences we call dreams almost always occur during REM sleep. While most mammals and birds show signs of REM sleep, reptiles and other cold-blooded animals do not.

REM sleep begins with signals from an area at the base of the brain called the pons. These signals travel to a brain region called the thalamus, which relays them to the cerebral cortex the outer layer of the brain that is responsible for learning, thinking, and organizing information. The pons also sends signals that shut off neurons in the spinal cord, causing temporary paralysis of the limb muscles. If something interferes with this paralysis, people will begin to physically act out their dreams a rare, dangerous problem called REM sleep behavior disorder. A person dreaming about a ball game, for example, may run headlong into furniture or blindly strike someone sleeping nearby while trying to catch a ball in the dream.

What Are Obstructive Sleep Apnea Symptoms

Treatment Options for Sleep Apnea

The most common and obvious symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea are loud, ongoing snoring and daytime sleepiness. Your sleeping partner and family members may complain or tease you about your snoring, and you may feel excessively tired while performing normal daily activities, such as driving a car or reading a book.

Other obstructive sleep apnea symptoms may include:

  • Periods of stopped breathing during sleep
  • Snorting and gasping during sleep
  • Morning headaches
  • Waking up with a dry mouth or sore throat
  • Mood swings and irritability
  • Chronic high blood pressure

Recommended Reading: Garmin Vivoactive 4s Sleep Tracking

What Does Adult Sleep Apnea Mean

Adult sleep apnea is a medical condition that primarily affects men over forty years of age, but does less commonly affect women after experiencing menopause. The condition is characterized by brief episodes, or intervals, of total loss of breath during regular nighttime sleep due to a blocked airway passage of the throat. Adult sleep apnea occurs when soft tissue located at the back of the throat collapses disrupting normal respiration cycles. The obstructed airway induces shortage of breath in many adults that often leads to disturbed sleep patterns resulting in snoring, daytime drowsiness, mood changes, and impaired mental awareness.

Why Don’t I Remember Waking Up During An Event

During a sleep apnea event, your body might “wake up” from the deep levels of sleep required to feel rested, but doesn’t wake you up to a conscious level typically.

Hopefully, after reading this article, you now know the difference between apnea vs hypopnea. If you have any questions about some of the terminology, be sure to leave a comment.

Recommended Reading: Does Zoloft Cause Insomnia

Apnea Vs Hypopnea Events Per Hour Explained

Sleep. We spend a third of our entire lives sleeping. Yet its possible your sleep is hurting your health due to sleep apnea. This article will explain the difference between sleep apnea and hypopnea, along with adverse events per hour that disrupt your sleep and your life. Sleep apnea and hypopnea are treatable, but first its best to know what they are and how they affect you. This article will explain an apnea vs hyponea and what events per hour are.


Next Steps After Diagnosis

What is Sleep Apnea?

Treating central sleep apnea will involve multiple factors. If there is an underlying cause like congestive heart failure that is contributing to your central sleep apnea, it must be treated first. Stopping chronic opioid use can also help manage central sleep apnea, since opioids can suppress your breathing rhythm.

Positive pressure therapy, most commonly achieved using a continuous positive airway pressure device, is a primary treatment option for central sleep apnea. This therapy increases the amount of oxygen that enters your airways by delivering a steady airstream through a mask that you wear while you sleep.

If you live in a high-altitude area, supplemental oxygen may be an alternative and more appropriate treatment method that helps increase your oxygen levels during sleep. Supplemental oxygen may also be recommended for cases of central sleep apnea that are associated with heart failure.

For severe cases of central sleep apnea that do not improve with a CPAP device, a nerve stimulator that helps the phrenic nerve function properly can be implanted in qualifying patients to improve breathing. The phrenic nerve controls the diaphragm, one of the central muscles involved in respiration. Proper stimulation of this nerve can therefore stabilize breathing during sleep.

Read Also: Does Zoloft Cause Insomnia

What Are The Complications Of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Letting obstructive sleep apnea continue untreated is risky you can get in a serious accident if you fall asleep while operating machinery or driving a car.

Health problems may develop as a result of obstructive sleep apnea, including:

  • Increased blood pressure

  • Changes in your body’s response to insulin and glucose

  • Changes in mental function and mood

  • Cardiovascular problems like heart failure, stroke, or abnormal heartbeat

What Are Symptoms Of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

The most common symptom of sleep apnea is . However, not everyone who snores has sleep apnea. Snoring is likely to be a sign of sleep apnea when it is followed by silent breathing pauses and choking or gasping sounds. People with sleep apnea often have daytime sleepiness or fatigue.

Common symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Loud or frequent snoring
  • Irritability

Don’t Miss: Which Of The Following Statements About Sleep Is True

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

Why Is Sleep Important For Our Health

Anxiety About Sleeping Away From Home

Sleep and sleep-related problems play a role in a large number of human disorders and affect almost every field of medicine. For example, problems like stroke and asthma attacks tend to occur more frequently during the night and early morning, perhaps due to changes in hormones, heart rate, and other characteristics associated with sleep. Sleep also affects some kinds of epilepsy in complex ways. REM sleep seems to help prevent seizures that begin in one part of the brain from spreading to other brain regions, while deep sleep may promote the spread of these seizures. Sleep deprivation also triggers seizures in people with some types of epilepsy.

Recommended Reading: Does The Garmin Vivofit 4 Track Sleep

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.

    Does Sleep Apnea Qualify As A Disability

    According to the Nolo legal network, the Social Security Administration doesnt have a disability listing for sleep apnea. It does, however, have listings for breathing disorders, heart problems, and mental deficits that might be attributed to sleep apnea.

    If you dont qualify for the conditions listed, you may still be able to receive benefits through a Residual Functional Capacity form. Both your doctor and a claims examiner from Disability Determination Services will fill out an RFC form to determine whether youre able to work due to:

    • your sleep apnea

    Don’t Miss: Does The Garmin Vivofit 4 Track Sleep

    Oxygen Levels In Pregnant Women

    Overweight women who are pregnant or women who gain too much weight during pregnancy are at a higher risk of developing sleep apnea. This can cause a drop in blodd oxygen levels during sleep which can create complications for the baby.

    So if you are overweight or gained a lot of weight during pregnancy, speak with your doctor to investigate if you have sleep apnea.

    For more info about obesity, see sleep apnea and obesity.

    - Advertisment -

    Most Popular

    - Advertisment -