Hello, My Name is….Obstructive Sleep Apnea

obstructive sleep apnea, airway, stop breathing in sleep, collapsed airway

There is something about that big red sticker that gets our attention.  We all know that sluggish, lethargic and drowsy feeling all too well. You know – the kind that coffee doesn’t cure. The kind of exhaustion where we just can’t seem to keep our head up, our eyes open or stay focused on the task at hand.

Too often our level of tiredness is the only symptom we consider when looking at our sleep health. Below are common symptoms directly linked to poor sleep that can help you identify early signs of mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea (OST).

  • Loud snoring
  • Awakening with a dry mouth
  • A morning headache
  • Difficulty staying asleep
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Difficulty paying attention while awake
  • Irritability
  • Episodes in which you stop breathing during sleep (witnessed by another person)
  • Gasping for air during sleep

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a common sleep disorder that prevents us from getting a good night’s sleep.  ‘Sleep Apnea’ simply means when someone stops breathing for at least 10 seconds during sleep, also known as an ‘apnea event’.  These apnea events can occur as many as 30 times in one hour of sleep.  In most cases, apnea events are caused by an obstruction in the airway, generally your tongue or other soft tissues relaxing during sleep.

Hold your breath for 10 seconds right now and it will give you an idea of the impact these events can have on your sleep.  This lack of oxygen in our system causes a chain reaction of symptoms that you might not recognize unless you fully understand the health effects linked to OSA.

Health Effects of Sleep Apnea

  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Heart failure, irregular heartbeats, heart attacks
  • Diabetes
  • Depression
  • Worsening of ADHD

Obstructive Sleep Apnea is treated with an Oral Appliance or CPAP (Constant Positive Airway Pressure).  Below are some basic illustrations and information supporting both forms of treatment.

Oral Appliance Therapy

 

CPAP Therapy 

  • Prescribed by a sleep physician
  • Applies pressure to the airway to increase the flow of air
  • Various masks to wear
  • Mask is connected by a hose to CPAP unit

 

 

Our goal at Ohio Sleep Treatment is simple:

Help Ohioans live a longer, fuller life.

Reference:
“Sleep Apnea.”  Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sleep-apnea/symptoms-causes/syc-20377631.

Comments
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