Sleep Apnea 101
The truth is, there is no substitute for a good night’s sleep. Coffee, tea, and energy drinks are all examples of stimulants meant to increase energy, but without substantial sleep, they all fall short. Sleep is extremely vital as it promotes brain function, physical health, and aids healing. The average person spends one-third of their lifetime asleep but when it comes to catching Z’s, it is quality over quantity that matters.
In today’s time, we have endless factors contributing to our lack of sleep – work, family time, Netflix, etc. Lucky for us, most of these issues can be resolved by a simple change of behavior. However, there can be more serious conditions that impact our quality of sleep. Some of these conditions may require medical treatment, such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a disorder in which a person repeatedly quits breathing throughout the night. While you believe you’ve gotten eight hours of sleep, the truth is you were woken over 100 times due to the lack of oxygen reaching your brain. This condition strongly impacts quality of sleep in a detrimental way. In the US alone, 22 million people suffer from sleep apnea and 80% of the cases ranging from moderate to severe go undiagnosed. Almost anyone can be at risk for sleep apnea, but the chances are even greater if you are overweight, use narcotics, or suffer from additional ailments such as heart disease.
Types of Sleep Apnea
There are three types of sleep apnea:
- Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA): This is the most common type of sleep apnea and it occurs when the throat muscles relax, preventing the free flow of oxygen.
- Central sleep apnea (CSA): This occurs when your brain doesn't send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing.
- Mixed sleep apnea: This occurs when someone has both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.
Risks Associated with Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is potentially fatal as it increases your risk of hypertension, insulin resistance, high cholesterol, and heart failure. It also presents mental ailments including memory loss, depression, anxiety, and delayed reflexes. These are only a few of the harmful effects of sleep apnea which is why it is so important to be diagnosed and treated.
The good news is it is easy to be diagnosed! With a prescription from your doctor, you can undergo a sleep study in a sleep lab or better yet, from the comfort of your own home. A sleep study involves wearing a device that monitors your vitals and sleep patterns, typically over a three-night period.
How Do I Treat Sleep Apnea?
Once you are diagnosed with sleep apnea you can start receiving the treatment you need. Treatment options include change of behavior, dental appliances, surgery, or the use of a prescribed Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine. Your physician will help you to determine the best form of treatment based on your diagnosis. The most common non-invasive treatment for sleep apnea is the use of a CPAP machine. It can be beneficial for someone with mild to severe apnea and is easy to use.
With a simple diagnosis and advanced treatments, it is easy to win the battle against sleep apnea and get back to your dreams! Hiro Health combines the best in class CPAP machines with unmatched customer service to ensure you get the good night’s sleep you deserve! If you are concerned you have may sleep apnea, take this brief interactive Sleep Apnea Quiz to determine if you are at risk.
With a simple diagnosis and advanced treatments, it is easy to win the battle against sleep apnea and get back to your dreams! Hiro Health combines the best in class CPAP machines with unmatched customer service to ensure you get the good night’s sleep you deserve! If you are concerned you have may sleep apnea, take this brief questionnaire to determine if you are at risk.
The information above is for educational use only. If you need specific medical advice about your sleep therapy options, please reach out to your physician, or call us to speak to a Hiro Health Wellness Team member at 866-764-2165.