Sleep apnea is a disorder of sleep and breathing that is characterized by the repetitive collapse of the upper airway. One of the most common and dangerous consequences of sleep apnea is excessive daytime sleepiness. In addition, sleep apnea is an identifiable cause of hypertension1.
- The most common symptoms of sleep apnea are:
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Loud snoring
- Choking or gasping for breath while asleep
- Headaches - especially in the morning
- Waking up feeling unrefreshed after sleep
- Untreated, sleep apnea can cause:
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular disease
- Weight gain
- Memory problems
How is sleep apnea diagnosed? A variety of testing modalities and devices can be used to diagnose sleep apnea. Full night polysomnography is the first choice of many sleep specialists. In addition, limited channel devices may be used to collect data that is interpreted to determine the presence of sleep apnea. Better Sunrise in partnership with your physician can help you assess your needs and develop a diagnostic protocol that best meets your goals.
How is sleep apnea treated? Positive airway pressure (PAP) devices have been shown to be effective at improving symptoms of sleep apnea, lowering hypertension, and reducing healthcare utilization. PAP treatment makes use of air pressure to keep the airway open throughout the night making it easier for users to experience restful, restorative sleep.
1U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation and Treatment of High Blood Pressure (JNC7), NIH Publication No 03-5231, May 2003.
Do You or Your Bed Partner:
Stop Breathing When Asleep
Wake at Night Out of Breath
Always Find Yourself Tired During the Day
Have Morning Headaches
If you answered yes to any of these questions you or your partner may be one of the 50 million Americans who are affected by sleep disorders ranging from snoring to sleep apnea (interruptions in breathing), to insomnia or narcolepsy (inability to stay awake). You should not be embarrassed by these conditions, but you should be concerned.
Talk To Your Doctor!