Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty. Sleep apnea is a medical condition that consists of abnormal breathing patterns during one’s sleep cycle. Most commonly, those affected will have their breathing halt and restart throughout the night. This can potentially prevent your body from receiving the necessary oxygen it requires. As a result, those with sleep apnea often have difficulty with consistent sleep and experience feelings of excess tiredness and lethargy on the follow day(s). Yet, with the implementation of some lifestyle changes and tools such as CPAP machines, all hope is not lost!
When discussing this specific sleep disorder, it’s important to note one size does not fit all. Here are three different types of sleep apnea you can encounter:
1. Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) - is the most typical in those with sleep apnea and deals with the blockage of one’s airway during sleep as the muscles in one’s throat relax. Our May blog on sleep apnea discussed how being overweight is the primary cause for OSA.
2. Central Sleep Apnea (CSA) – is significantly less common but more severe. CSA occurs when the brain fails to send the correct signals to your muscles to manage proper breath control.
3. Mixed Sleep Apnea (AKA Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome) - as the name helps imply, is a mixture of both the types depicted above.
What’s unique about sleep apnea is that while it’s commonly experienced, it’s not commonly diagnosed. The reason being we simply cannot see ourselves while we sleep – leaving most individuals unaware treatment is necessary. What can occur, is that a partner or other present party, may begin to take notice of an ongoing issue while you’re sleeping, such as snoring or finding yourself gasping for air.
Let’s learn more about how CPAP machines can help you feel rested and ready to take on the day yawn-free. So, what is a CPAP machine and what does it do? CPAP is the abbreviation for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. CPAP is referred to frequently as the “gold standard” when treating individuals with sleep apnea. The primary function of this device is to facilitate the regulation of your breathing patterns while you sleep. While it may be small-in-size it is strong in action. CPAP machines have a monitor attached to a tube and a mask that you place over your mouth and nose before bed. As you wear the mask, the air softly begins circulating through the tube and into your respiratory tract. However, just like a pair of jeans, the right mask for you can be found and adjusted – ensuring the right amount of air pressure is received.
Incorporating a mask and machine into a bedtime routine is not exactly alluring. Still, neither are the health risks that come attached with sleep apnea. CPAPs don’t just aid sleep quality but also life quality. Sleep apnea is linked to health problems such as type 2 diabetes, heart attacks, and strokes. So, while your partner, family, or friend may be serious about wanting to avoid the nightly lullaby that is your snoring. You can be serious about leaning into resources, such as CPAP and research studies, to help avoid life complications. Don’t sleep on your health, aim to sleep well!
Are you or someone you know looking for ways to best manage your sleep apnea? Here at Rainier Clinical Research Center, we may have a study that can benefit you! Please find out more by contacting us at our toll-free number at 888-478-8343 or visiting this link.
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